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History of Prisoner numbers[edit]


can anybody write something about the history of referring to prisoners by number (rather than, or in addition to, by name)? When was this custom introduced, and where? When and where did it go out of fashion? Who continues to do this and who doesn't? A quick internet search turned up no usable information.

-- (talk) 08:34, 1 October 2015 (UTC)

Every prison/jail is different. In America the culture of corrections is more kind and more gentle than in the past almost to the point of nausea. The focus is rehabilitation and thus humanization. The likely-hood that a prison guard(They hate to be called that) would be able to remember a numerical string rather than a name is unlikely. The practice in question is probably a Hollywood-ism{opinion}. Most guards use generic terms such as "inmate", "prisoner", "sir", "ma'am", ect... because they all dress the same and they deal with hundreds of inmates a day. -Mr. X {I speak from personal experience. I worked in corrections for a few years.} — Preceding unsigned comment added by Xcerptshow (talkcontribs) 03:11, 17 August 2016 (UTC)

Possible changes[edit]

Population Statistics

Prison populations in the United States continues to grow annually and there is one key interpretation from that fact: the American penal system incarcerates more individuals than any other country in the world. In Germany, 93 people are in prison for every 100,000 adults and children. In the U.S., the rate is roughly eight times that, or 750 per 100,000. Russia has about 890,000 inmates, China has around 1.5 million inmates, while the United States has around 2.3 million inmates according to the US Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS).[16]

One of the many dimensions taken into account when analyzing prison statistics is the different incarceration rates between racial groups. The U.S. Department of Justice conducted an analysis of mid-2006 prison statistic date that showed for Hispanic and black men, imprisonment is a far more prevalent reality than it is for white men. Data analyzed in this report showed:

For white men ages 18 or older, 1 in 106 were in prison For Hispanic men ages 18 or older, 1 in 36 were in prison For black men ages 18 or older, 1 in 15 were in prison (Utilizing information from:


State Prison Reformations

On July 15, 2016, Alaska Governor Bill Walker signed SB 91, an extensively vetted crime reform bill, into law to try and reduce the state's prison population and its associated costs. This came at a time when the state was facing the prospect of a projected 27% increase to its prison population within the next 10 years, which would costs taxpayers an additional $169 million.[17] The authors of the bill were Senators Johnny Ellis (D-Anchorage) and John Coghill (R-North Pole), the latter of whom stated "This was an enormous achievement that will reduce recidivism, hold offenders accountable, and get the most public safety out of each dollar spent on our criminal justice system."[18]

Following years of "tough on crime" policies that did not seem to be producing the desired returns on public safety, Alaska was seeking to improve safety in communities and utilize taxpayer resources more efficiently.

(Utilizing information from:



Prison Reform in Singapore

In 1998, Singapore was faced with similar issues that the United States is currently experiencing: rising numbers of prisoners, overcrowding, high recidivism, and trouble recruiting and retaining correctional officers. Chua Chin Kiat, Director of Singapore Prison Service, changed the mission of the criminal system to one that would "get criminals out of prison."[19] The program that was implemented, utilized a system that created "prisons as schools for life," recast guards as "captains of lives," responsoble for all prisoners' human needs—physical, emotional, spiritual, vocational, educational—and future success. Results from implementing this program included slashing recidivism from 44 percent to a low of 23 percent, settling at 27 percent in 2009, respect for guards skyrocketed above 90 percent, assaults plummeted, guards reported better working conditions, and the recruitment problem was solved.[20]

Economics of the prison industry

( In the United States alone, more than $74 billion per year is spent on prisons, with over 800,000 people employed in the prison industry.[76] )

The above statement and citation need to be updated since the cited article can no longer be reached at the provided link.

Absent of the continued growth of prison populations, the cost to run these prisons and keep the nation's criminal offenders locked up is staggering: costing taxpayers an approximate $39 billion according to a 2012 Vera Institute of Justice Study.[21] The average cost by state varies, with some states such as Indiana, Kentuckey and Idaho keeping costs below $20,000 per inmate while other states such as New York and New Jersey paying more than $50,000 per inmate.

(Utilizing information from:


Maxwell moilanen (talk) 06:17, 20 November 2016 (UTC)Max