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Robert Longley

One of Every 136 US Residents Now in Jail

By May 22, 2006

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Adding about 1,085 new inmates every week, America’s prisons had reached a total combined prisoner population of 2,186,230 by the end of June 2005, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS).

The 12 month increase of 56,428 prisoners represented a 2.6 percent growth rate. Two thirds of the inmates (1,438,701) were in federal prisons, while the rest (747,529) were housed on local jails.

A few other highlights of the lowlights of the Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear 2005 report included:

  • Since 1995 the nation's prison and jail population has risen by more than 600,000 inmates. At midyear 2005 one in every 136 U.S. residents were in prison or jail.

  • Women make up an increasing proportion of jail inmates, reaching 12.7 percent of the population in 2005, compared to 10.2 percent in 1995.

  • At midyear 2005, nearly 6 in 10 offenders in local jails were racial or ethnic minorities, which was nearly unchanged in the last 10 years.

  • Louisiana and Georgia led the nation in percentage of their state residents incarcerated (with more than 1 percent of their state residents in prison or jail at midyear 2005).

Also See:
Go to Jail! Go Back to Jail!
Supreme Court Backs Religious Rights of Prisoners

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