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November 2, 2005

About the size of the population of Virginia

Thanks to TalkLeft's post here, I see that DOJ's Bureau of Justice Statistics has released "Probation and Parole in the United States, 2004," which reports on "the number of persons on probation and parole, by State, at yearend 2004 and compares the totals with yearend 1995 and 2000."  The full report, which has lots and lots of interesting numbers, can be accessed here

This news account of this new BJS report spotlights some interesting racial dynamics:

Whites made up 56 percent of the probation population and only 34 percent of the prison population, according to Wednesday's report and another Justice Department report released last month. "White people for whatever reason — seem to have more access to community supervision than African Americans and Hispanics," said Jason Ziedenberg, executive director of the Justice Policy Institute, which promotes alternatives to incarceration....  Blacks, he noted, comprised 30 percent of probationers and 41 percent of prisoners at the end of 2004. Hispanics made up 12 percent of the probation population and 19 percent of the prison population

As this official press release indicates, the BJS report calculates that the "number of adults in prison, jail, or on probation or parole reached almost 7 million during 2004."  To put that number in some perspective, that's more persons on probation and parole than live in 38 of the 50 states, and is about the number of persons that live in Virginia (which is the 12th most populous state).

November 2, 2005 at 10:04 PM | Permalink

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