1.6 Mill in Prison, Up 100,000 Since Last Yr.
Aug 19, 1996
- WASHINGTON--The number of men and women in the nation's prisons and jails climbed to nearly 1.6 million last year, culminating a decade in which the U.S. rate of incarceration nearly doubled, the Justice Department reported Sunday.
- By the end of 1995, 1 out of every 167 Americans was in prison or jail, compared to 1 out of every 320 a decade earlier, according to the department's Bureau of Justice Statistics.
- The world's highest incarceration rate has seesawed in recent years between the United States and Russia, with both far outdistancing other nations.
- The bureau said that as of Dec. 31 there were 1,078,357 men and women in federal and state prisons, which usually house sentenced prisoners serving more than one year. That was an increase of 86,745 over the previous year, or 8.7%, slightly above the average annual growth rate during the last five years.
- As of June 30, 1995, the most recent date for which figures are available, there were 507,044 men and women in local jails, which normally hold people awaiting trial or serving less than one-year sentences. That was an increase of 20,570, or 4.2%, slightly below the average annual growth rate during the last five years.
- The total number of inmates in custody has more than doubled since 1985, up 113%. The rate of incarceration has grown from 313 inmates per 100,000 U.S. residents in 1985 to 600 inmates per 100,000 in 1995.
- Local jails added 41,439 beds in the 12 months proceeding June 30,1995, which put their population at 7% below capacity on that date.
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