Corrections Population Reaches Record High. (National News Briefs)
Gerard, Vanessa St., Corrections Today
The number of adults behind bars or on probation or parole reached a record 6.47 million in 2000 -- or one in 32 American adults, USA Today recently reported. The U.S. Department of Justice report indicates that jails and prisons held 30 percent of the adults in the correctional system; probationers accounted for 59 percent; and the remaining 11 percent were on parole. The adult population in the U.S. correctional system climbed by 2.3 percent between 2000 and 2001. However, on the positive side, the number of people in prison grew by only 1.1 percent to 1.3 million, the smallest annual increase in nearly three decades.
The rate of growth was 2 percent between 1999 and 2000, compared with an average of 4 percent during the 1990s. In addition, some states have eliminated mandatory minimum sentences for certain crimes. For example, California's Proposition 36 requires treatment rather than incarceration for nonviolent drug offenders. Most of those drug users receive probation. …