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Impact of Correctional Facilities on Land Values and Public Policy

NCJ Number
K S Abrams; W Lyons
Date Published
600 pages
This study investigated the popularly held notions that the presence of a correctional facility in a community creates a risk to public safety, lowers nearby property values, and reduces the community's quality of life.
Both subjective and objective data were collected to determine how seven correctional facilities across the Nation (one Federal prison, four State prisons, and two county jails) affected their respective communities' property values, economy, public safety, law enforcement capabilities, and quality of life. The property assessor's office in each county provided data on residential sales, and statistical analysis determined impacts. A mail survey of realtors in four communities provided expert opinion on sales and concerns for comparison and contrast between target and control areas. A separate mathematical formula for each community assessed facility siting effects on local employment, business, and household income. Crime-rate analyses for both the target and control areas were compared statistically, and local and State law enforcement officials were surveyed to determine how escapes and subsequent recapture efforts have affected agency performance. In four counties, the study conducted a telephone survey of sample households and a content analysis of newspaper coverage to assess attitudes and feelings concerning the community and the facility. Quality-of-life and public-safety indicators were unaffected by the facility, but there is some possibility that residential property values may be sensitive to negative public opinion. Extensive tables and appended supplementary information and study instruments