Facts about Prisons and Prisoners

Corrections Forum, July/August 2007 | Go to article overview

Facts about Prisons and Prisoners


The Growing Corrections System

* The number of inmates in state and federal prisons has increased more than six-fold from less than 200,000 in 1970 to 1,479,179 by 2006. An additional 766,010 are held in local jails, for a total of more than 2.2 million.

* The state and federal prison population grew by 43,000 persons (3.0%) between July 2005 and June 2006, while the jail population increased by more than 18,000 inmates (2.5%).

* As of 2006, 1 of every 133 Americans was incarcerated in prison or jail.

* The number of persons on probation and parole has been growing dramatically along with institutional populations. There are now 7 million Americans incarcerated or on probation or parole, an increase of more than 280 percent since 1980.

* One in nine (11.7%) black males aged 25-29 was in prison or jail in 2006 as were 1 in 26 (3.9%) Hispanic males and 1 in 59 (1.7%) white males in the same age group.

* Nationally, 67 females per 100,000 women are serving a sentence in prison; 940 males per 100,000 men are in prison.

* The 2006 United States' rate of incarceration of 750 inmates per 100,000 population is the highest reported rate in the world, well ahead of the Russian rate of 624 per 100,000. …

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