The Day Fine
The National Institute of Justice has produced Alternatives to Custodial Supervision: The Day Fine. Corrections populations in the United States have risen at alarming rates. From 1990 to 2007, probation populations rose 61 percent, with 4.3 million individuals on probation. Parole populations have increased 55 percent to a level of 824,000 persons. Incarceration sentences have expanded by even greater amounts—jail populations rose 93 percent (to 780,000), and prison populations increased 311 percent (to 2.3 million inmates) over the same interval. More than 7.2 million people are under correctional supervision today.
Releasing “low risk” offenders from confinement can provide only modest relief because they become parolees and remain under justice supervision. Additionally, sentencing rates continue to increase. Felony conviction rates for violent crimes grew from 23 percent to 31 percent between 1994 and 2004, and the volume of convictions overall rose 24 percent (to 1.08 million in 2004). The percentage of time served for violent felonies also has increased, from 46 percent to approximately 66 percent.