Do you wonder what will happen to the jails given the election results? It would seem that in the immediate aftermath that jails are going to be rather busy in some major cities. Protests against the designation of Donald Trump as president-elect are sometimes turning into riots, so many arrests are being made and filling local jails. However, nonviolent offenders are often being bailed out of jail rather quickly with simple fines or judges determining there is no need for them to be confined pending their hearings or trials.
Longer term, prospects for jails look rather daunting. Trump, if sworn into office, promised to be a “Law and Order” candidate who is likely to boost funding for law enforcement agencies. The also promised crackdown on illegal immigrants is also likely to fill jail cells around the nation as they processed before being deported and sent to other countries.
Now that the Republican Party is set to assume control of the White House and both chambers of Congress for the next two years, many voters think that criminal justice reform might not happen. However, this is an issue that has intrigued legislators of both parties, so there might be a further lessening of sentences and punishments for nonviolent drug offenders, which might empty some jail cells. Mass incarceration approaches do not seem to have won the ‘war on drugs,’ and do come at significant financial and societal cost.
Many local and state entities also passed referendums on their own minimizing or even decriminalizing penalties for some drugs, especially marijuana use. This easing of legal restrictions should also result in fewer individuals being put in jails.
For those involved in the jailing industry, there are signs that prison use might rise for some things during decline for other. The future is uncertain at this time.