Over 15 million men, women and children are arrested and jailed every year in the United States. That equates to over 5% of the population, or one in twenty citizens. Whether they realize it or not, everyone knows somebody who is, or has been in jail. Even though some of those arrested are eventually found innocent of any crime and are released, many are held in conditions that are so beneath the dignity of this great country that they need to be exposed for treating American citizens no better than dogs in a pound. However, that is for another article.
To become a member of JAIL Exchange’s top 50 Jails for 2010, a jail or detention center (adult or juvenile) had to have been rewarded our JAILEX RATING of 5.0 and meet the following criteria:
Jails with a 5.0 – Highest Rating: Perfect.
This facility’s online presence is captivating. The operator of this facility understands that providing complete information is essential to saving time, money and frustration for all involved, including staff, the families and friends of those incarcerated, and the taxpayer. By providing clear, relevant and meaningful online content, they have gone far beyond what over 95% of other facilities in the United States have done. These sheriffs and administrators are communication experts. They are to be commended.
Jails that made the top 50 list usually have the following information:
Website that is professionally done, updated regularly and easy to navigate.
Inmate Search and/or list that is updated daily.
Clear information about the facility and contact info.
Visitation rules and schedules.
Information on how to send mail and what is allowed.
Information about how to deposit money for Inmates.
Information about Inmate Services such as Programs and Rehabilitation.
UPDATE May 1, 2012: We have temporarily disbanded the jailex ratings from our website due to the difficulty in keeping our scoring updated properly. We anticipate coming out with 2012 results at the end of the year, but on a more limited basis. We wish to focus our attention on those jails who provide quality information, unfortunately a minority of the jurisdictions.
Mark Miclette writes about inmates, jails, prisons, courts and the lives of people who live and work within the United States Criminal Justice System. His mission can be summed up in a single word; transparency.
There are 1,315 County Juvenile Detention Centers in America serving 3,210 counties. On any given day they are holding for trial or incarceration for a year or less at least 15,000 children and young adults 17 years of age or younger. Do they actually help our troubled children?
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Many jails have online databases listing those who have been arrested. In some cases, the database is updated every few minutes. If you do a search but nothing comes up, it doesn’t necessarily mean your loved one is not incarcerated. There are several reasons an inmate can be in jail but not showing up in the database.
For many people the idea of being in jail or prison is a frightening one. Being locked in a building, surrounded by armed guards and layers of razor wire can be daunting. But is it as bad as television, movies and the media want us to believe? The answer is both yes and no. Read more