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Environmental Scan 2017

Beginning in the late 1990’s, the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) Information Center began scanning social, economic, and corrections issues to inform the development of training programs and services offered by NIC. This report, now in its twelfth edition, and renamed from the Environmental Scan to the Corrections Environmental Scan, has continued to evolve into a popular tool that corrections practitioners use to inform their work in jails, prisons, and community corrections.

Because there are many issues beyond what is addressed in this environmental scan that will potentially influence corrections, this report is intended to give a broad overview of selected current and anticipated trends and not to be comprehensive in scope. The methods for selecting articles, reports, and other materials was based on a scan of news sources, websites, and corrections-specific publications. As part of the ongoing work of the NIC Information Center in supporting the work of corrections professionals, staff regularly monitors reports and publications from state, national, global, and independent sources.

The report is arranged with the topics: population, demographics, economy, workforce, technology, substance abuse and mental health, healthcare, and crime and recidivism statistics. Each section gives a summary of trends and developments in corrections, and includes national and global perspectives. A new feature debuts the new NIC website and highlights the State Statistics Information page. This web page provides lists of resources related to local, state, and federal statistics displayed to help you see the current state of the corrections industry as of the last set of reported data.