Decarceration Law and Legal Definition

Decarceration is a government policy of reducing either the number of persons imprisoned or the rate of imprisonment in a given jurisdiction. It may also be described as the process of removing people from institutions such as prisons or mental hospitals. It is the opposite of incarceration. In the middle of the twentieth century, this became a central feature in the reorganization of social control, and is closely allied to programmes of community care and community control. Another linked concept is transcarceration, in which people are moved sideways from one kind of institution to another.