TOPICS > Politics

Report on a Solution to Prison Overcrowding

January 3, 1996 at 12:00 AM EDT


LEE HOCHBERG: On a damp Northwest morning, these inmates from the overcrowded Oregon Penitentiary, shackled and chained, are being shipped away. They’re going 2,000 miles East to rural Texas, where they’ll move into a smaller, county jail. Twenty-five hundred other inmates from jammed penitentiaries in Colorado, North Carolina, Virginia, Missouri, and Utah, will also be winging their way to Texas jails. It’s all part of a growing and controversial trade in prisoners. As tough new sentencing guidelines pack prisons beyond their limits, state governments are paying to have their inmate overflow housed out of state. Oregon, for example, plans to move 1700 prisoners out of its penitentiary system at a cost of $27 million.

DAVE COOK, Oregon Department of Corrections: There is the public mood that locking people