Oregon State Bar Bulletin — JANUARY 2009
Briefs

New Statistics Highlight Prison Populations
According to a recent press release from the Bureau of Justice Statistics at the U.S. Department of Justice, more than 7.3 million men and women were under correctional supervision in the nation’s prisons or jails or on probation or parole at year end 2007. About 3.2 percent of the U.S. adult population, or one in every 31 adults, was incarcerated or under community supervision at the end of 2007. This percentage has remained stable since reaching more than 3 percent in 1999.

About 70 percent (5.1 million) of the adults under correctional supervision at year end 2007 were supervised in the community (either on probation or parole), and 30 percent (2.3 million) were incarcerated in the nation’s prisons or jails. Offenders held in custody in state or federal prisons or local jails increased by 1.5 percent since year end 2006. The population under community supervision (either on probation or parole) increased 2.1 percent.

State and federal correctional authorities had jurisdiction or legal authority over nearly 1.6 million prisoners, an increase of 1.8 percent since year end 2006. Though the number of prisoners increased, the rate of growth, compared to the average annual growth from 2000 to 2006, slowed by 0.2 percent. The imprisonment rate continued to increase, reaching 506 persons per 100,000 U.S. residents.

Federal prisons operated at 136 percent of capacity in 2007. State prisons operated between 96 percent of highest capacity and 113 percent of lowest capacity, compared to between 100 percent and 115 percent in 2000. This trend indicates that prison populations are increasing at the same rate of capacity.

More than eight in 10 offenders supervised in the community at year end 2007 were on probation (4,293,163), while less than two in 10 offenders were on parole (824,365). About one in every 45 adults in the U.S. was on probation or parole at the end of the year.

The total community supervision population grew by 103,100 offenders during 2007. While the parole population (up 3.2 percent) increased at a faster pace than probation (up 1.8 percent) in 2007, probation accounted for three-quarters (77,800) of the growth in offenders under community supervision.

Entries to probation supervision (2.4 million) exceeded exits from supervision (2.3 million) in 2007. Similarly, entries to parole supervision (555,900) also exceeded exits from parole (531,400) during 2007. A total of 1,180,469 parolees were at risk of being re-incarcerated in 2007. Of these parolees, about 16 percent were re-incarcerated in 2007.

For additional information about the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ statistical reports and programs, please visit the BJS website at www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs.


Casemaker’s Multiple Function Searches
Most Casemaker users regularly use the AND function to narrow searches. This function is activated by simply leaving a space between the two or more search terms. But did you know that virtually all of Casemaker’s search functions can also be used in conjunction with each other?

Casemaker search parameters for the full document search query box include: AND, OR, NOT, PHRASE, THESAURUS and SUFFIX EXPANSION searches. Here are a few examples to show how the search functions work.

AND—leaving a space between the search terms will require all of the words to appear in the document. Example: knife gun—»will yield documents containing both knife and gun. Additional terms may be added to further narrow search results.

OR—put the search terms in parentheses with only a comma between them (no space) and either search term will appear in the document. Example: (knife,gun)—»(parentheses required) identifies documents that contain either knife or gun.

NOT (Exclusion Search)—inserting a hyphen (-) immediately in front of the word will ensure that the search term does not appear in the document. Make sure there is a space between all of the search terms. Example: knife -gun—»will find documents that contain the word knife, but not the word gun.

PHRASE—putting the exact phrase in quotation marks yields documents that contain the phrase. Example: "next of kin"—»will locate documents with the phrase next of kin.

THESAURUS—by placing a tildé (~) just in front of a word (no space), documents that have the word, as well as synonyms will be found. Example: ~liquor—»will produce documents that have the words liquor, spirits, whiskey, drink, intoxicant, etc.

SUFFIX EXPANSION—placing an asterisk just behind the word (no space), will produce documents with the word appearing in any amended form (i.e. plurals, past and progressive verb tenses, nouns, etc.). Example: stalk* —»displays documents with the words stalk, stalks, stalked, stalker, stalking.

And virtually all of the above functions will work together in the same search. With just a little experimentation, users can incorporate multiple function searches into their everyday searches


return to top
return to Table of Contents