Statistics put out today by the U.S. Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics show that in Amazing America, jail occupancy rates are far higher than hotel occupancy rates.
Justice Department statistics show jail occupancy rate stood at 84% in mid-2012 (latest period for which statistics are available).
Unlike federal or state prisons, jails are usually run by local law enforcement agencies and hold inmates while they await court action or serve a sentence of one year or less.
If you include state and federal occupancy rates, the U.S. occupancy rate of correctional institutions is 106% of official capacity (Source: International Center for Prison Studies).
There are 744,524 inmates in jails and another 1.50 million in state and federal prisons making for a total of 2.24 million housed in cages.
Hotel Occupancy Rates Lower
Hotel occupancy rate in the U.S. for the week ended May 11, 2013 was just 62.7% (Source: HotelNews.com)
The U.S. motel/hotel business, in which Indians play a big role, is a tough slog.
There are far too many headaches in the short-stay motel and hotel business – the franchisors are squeezing you, the immigration department is cracking down on the illegal alien employees, it’s hard to find good housekeepers, hookers are messing up your motel’s reputation, crack addicts are flushing drug paraphernalia into the toilet and clogging the drains and your querulous customers are leaving nasty comments on TripAdvisor.
Aaah, life is hard for owners of motels and hotels.
Why U.S. Jail Occupancy Rate is High
Incarceration and occupancy rates in U.S. prisons and jails are high due for the following reasons:
1. Tough sentencing laws that give little leeway to judges forcing them to impose long sentences even for minor crimes. Prison data reveals that 86% of sentences are for over three-years (Source: Bureau of Prisons).