Sentencing Policies and Demographics of Offenders

The state of California has distinct procedures concerning correction practices. Sentencing types employed in California include jail, prison, and several alternatives, such as drug treatment programs, probation, and home detention (Shouse, 2021). The prison system in California is managed by CDCR (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation), which concentrates on rehabilitation philosophy alongside restorative justice and community reintegration (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation [CDCR], n.d.). Rehabilitation principles for corrections have been in place since 2011, but a report from 2020 suggests they did not positively impact the prison population (Bliss, 2020). In particular, CDCR failed to verify the performance of following the philosophy, and the inmates were not provided with adequate restorative opportunities (Bliss, 2020). While the convicts were expected to receive vocational education, classroom facilities and student enrollment were inadequate (Bliss, 2020). Although sentencing policies in California aspire for offenders to learn how to live properly within society, CDCR appears to have trouble operating the procedures.

Demographics of offenders in the state of California do not seem to be modernized often, as the most thorough information was published in 2019. According to Hayes et al. (2019), the average age of inmates is about 40 years old for men and 38 years old for women. The prison population is primarily represented by African Americans and Latino people (Hayes et al., 2019). Moreover, incarceration rates vary and are 4,236, 1,016, and 422 per 100,000 people for African Americans, Latino persons, and white men, respectively (Hayes et al., 2019). Gender differences are quite impressive because California has about 115,000 convicts, and only 5,849 of them are female (Hayes et al., 2019). Although current data regarding the lawbreakers’ education level is not available, CDCR’s pursuit of enlightening people in prison suggests that such individuals may not be sufficiently educated (CDCR, n.d.). Furthermore, more than 60% of inmates in California need therapy for substance abuse disorder during incarceration (“Treating substance abuse,” 2020). Overall, the demographics of offenders need to be revised but indicate substantial differences in the imprisoned population.


Bliss, K. (2020). California prison rehabilitation programs are costly and ineffective. Prison Legal News.

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. (n.d.). Vision, mission, values, and goals.

Hayes, J., Goss, J., Harris, H., & Gums, A. (2019). California’s prison population.

Shouse, N. (2021). Alternative sentencing in California – 5 common types.

Treating substance abuse in prisons & what it means for California’s drug problem. (2020).

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LawBirdie. (2023, May 16). Sentencing Policies and Demographics of Offenders. Retrieved from


LawBirdie. (2023, May 16). Sentencing Policies and Demographics of Offenders.

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"Sentencing Policies and Demographics of Offenders." LawBirdie, 16 May 2023,


LawBirdie. (2023) 'Sentencing Policies and Demographics of Offenders'. 16 May.


LawBirdie. 2023. "Sentencing Policies and Demographics of Offenders." May 16, 2023.

1. LawBirdie. "Sentencing Policies and Demographics of Offenders." May 16, 2023.


LawBirdie. "Sentencing Policies and Demographics of Offenders." May 16, 2023.