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June 6, 2008

New "official" record high in US incarceration population

As detailed in this ABC News report, prison nation continues to grow: "The Justice Department has released a new report showing the nation's prison and jail population reached a record 2.3 million people last year."  As regular readers know, the "United States leads the industrialized world in incarceration [with a] rate of incarceration (762 per 100,000) [that] is five to eight times that of other highly developed countries, according to The Sentencing Project, a criminal justice think tank."

The official press release from BJS provides this explanation of what the latest official data shows:

The growth in the number of prisoners under state or federal jurisdiction slowed during the first six months of 2007, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) reported today. The number of prisoners rose 1.6 percent, which was lower than the 2.0 percent growth during the same period in 2006. In absolute numbers, prisoners under the legal jurisdiction of state or federal correctional authorities — some of whom were housed in local jails — increased by 24,919 prisoners to reach 1,595,037 prisoners....

During the 12 months that ended June 2007, the nation’s prison and jail custody populations increased by 46,887 inmates (up 2.1 percent) to reach 2,299,116 inmates.  Two-thirds of the nation’s custody population was in a state or federal prison (1,518,535), and the other one-third was held in local jails (780,581).  At midyear 2007, there were an estimated 762 persons per 100,000 U.S. residents in prison or jail, up from 684 at yearend 2000....

Black males comprised 35.5 percent of all inmates held in custody in the nation’s prison and jails at midyear 2007.  About 4.6 percent of all black males in the general population were in prison or jail, compared to 1.7 percent of Hispanic males and 0.7 percent of white males.

Imagine if elected official and media pundits were focused as much on the rising US prison population as they are focused on rising price of oil.  But, perhaps I expect too much from elected officials and the media when I hope they can be as concerned about human liberty in America as they are concerned about the cost of crude.

For the full data reports, check out these links: Prison Inmates at Midyear 2007 and Jail Inmates at Midyear 2007.

June 6, 2008 at 03:09 PM | Permalink

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» Imagine from Austin Criminal Defense Lawyer
Imagine if elected official and media pundits were focused as much on the rising US prison population as they are focused on rising price of oil. But, perhaps I expect too much from elected officials and the media when... [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 6, 2008 9:59:47 PM

» Blog Scan from Crime and Consequences
Increasing Prison Population: Doug Berman at Sentencing Law and Policy has a post clarifying an ABC News Report that the "U.S. Prison Population Hits All-Time High". Berman clarifies the ABC story by linking to the the Justice Department's official pre... [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 9, 2008 1:24:50 PM

Comments

Well, crude (once processed) makes my car go, and gets my groceries to my local supermarket.
Drug dealers don't.
Seems simple enough.

Posted by: Jasper Witkins | Jun 6, 2008 3:32:19 PM

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