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February 18, 2022

Federal prison population dips down a bit and is now reported at 153,053

Just as it is likely foolish for persons with long-term investment plans to spend too much time looking at daily stock market numbers, it is likely foolish that I have become obsessed again with weekly federal prison population data ever since the Department of Justice last month, as noted here, announced its rules for implementing "the Time Credits program required by the First Step Act."  As regular readers may recall, the retroactive implementation of those credits led to the reduction of the federal prison population by about 3% in just a few weeks.  But then, as noted here, the federal Bureau of Prisons' weekly updated report revealed a return to increasing prison population numbers in early February.  And, since the federal prison population slowly climbed through 2021 (after big drops in the early pandemic days), I have been speculating that slow and steady prison population growth in 2022 would reflect a bit of "returning to normal."

But, just to ensure nobody thinks there are predictable trends here, the newest latest BOP report of the federal prison population, this on-line report of "Total Federal Inmates," now clocks in at 153,053 as of February 17, 2022.  That number is roughly 250 inmates lower than two weeks ago.  I suspect there is no simple explanation for the recent ups and downs, but this new date now (foolishly?) makes me a bit less pessimistic that the Biden era is destined to be marked by a steady increase in the federal prison population absent FIRST STEP Act events.

That all said, as we approach the President's Day weekend, it is worth recalling that the Joe Biden campaign includes promises to "take bold action to reduce our prison population" and to "broadly use his clemency power for certain non-violent and drug crimes."  Thirteen months into this administration, I am unaware of any bold action taken by Prez Biden in this arena and he has yet to use his clemency power a single time, let alone broadly.

Prior recent related posts:

February 18, 2022 at 12:47 PM | Permalink


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