University of the District of Columbia Law Review


Olinda Moyd


The District of Columbia has one of the highest per capita incarceration and criminal justice supervision rates in the United States1 and among the highest in the world. The local prison population has risen dramatically over the past decade for a variety of reasons including increased rates of re-incarceration for parole violations and the imposition of longer sentences for drug offenses. Recent acts of Congress have seriously impacted the sentencing laws in the District including determination of where persons sentenced for violating local D.C. laws will serve such sentences. On August 5, 1997, President Clinton signed into law The National Capital Revitalization and Self-Government Improvement Act of 1997 (the "Revitalization Act"), / which effectively "federalized" the local prison population by transferring authority for incarcerating D.C. prisoners to the United States Bureau of Prisons. Thus, while there are still "local prisoners," there is no longer a local prison, nor do the D.C. prisoners remain "local." Rather, persons convicted of crimes in the District of Columbia are now held in prisons operated by, or contracted on behalf of, the federal government.