Length of Confinement Distributions for Iowa Prison Inmates

Abstract

Reforms often are alterations made to correct a problem with a system. They are difficult to achieve and the outcome can be that the system fails to operate correctly in a different way. This is a common feature of complex adaptive systems. Another feature of complex adaptive systems are heavy tailed distributions. This report uses several characteristics of Iowa prison inmates to study their distributions with respect length of confinement to see if any have heavy tailed distributions. It was found that some of them did have such distributions.

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A Study of 2016 Iowa Prison Commitments by County Courts

Abstract

The process that can result in a convict being committed to prison to serve a sentence is adaptive, adversarial and complex. One way to study a complex process is to study the smaller component parts. In Iowa the smallest components where data is available for study are the 99 counties. This study uses data collected by the Iowa Department of Corrections on county commitments to prison in 2016.

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