Amaris Elliott-Engel

With Different Flavor, City Prison Crowding Suit Settles

June 13, 2011 | Amaris Elliott-Engel | The Legal Intelligencer

When Philadelphia’s inmates have sued the city over crowding in city jails, the litigation has resulted in caps on the number of inmates held by correctional authorities and decades of supervision by federal judges.

But what the litigation never seemed to accomplish - at least for very long - were significant, sustainable reductions in the prison population.

The latest litigation over conditions of confinement in the Philadelphia Prison System appears to be breaking with past history. The system is holding 7,955 inmates, down from a population bulge of 9,800 that criminal justice leaders worried would break 10,000. The system is designed for 6,800.

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