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The Growing Corrections System
· The number of inmates in state and federal prisons has increased more than five-fold from less than 200,000 in 1970 to 1,053,000 by 1994. An additional 490,000 are held in local jails.
· The number of persons on probation and parole has been growing dramatically along with institutional populations. There are now more than five million Americans incarcerated or on probation, or parole, an increase of 179 percent since 1980.
· Almost one in three (32%) young black males in the age group 20-29 is under some type of correctional control (incarceration, probation, or parole), as is 1 in 15 young white males and 1 in 8 young Hispanic males.
· In fiscal year 1995, state and federal governments planned $5.1 billion in new prison construction, at an average cost of $58,000 for a medium security cell.
·The United States is second in the world in its rate of incarceration, exceeded only by Russia.
Who is in our Prisons and Jails?
· 94% of prison inmates are male, 6% female.
· 50% of state and federal prisoners in 1993 were black and 14% were Hispanic.
· 65% of state prison inmates in 1991 had not completed high school.
· 33% of jail inmates in 1991 were unemployed prior to entering jail.
· 32% of jail inmates in 1991 who had been free for at least one year prior to their arrest had annual incomes of under $5,000.
· 68% of those sentenced to state prisons in 1990 were convicted of non-violent crimes, including 32% for drug offenses, and 31% for property offenses.
· 57% of jail inmates in 1989 reported they were under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time they committed their offense.
· 1 in 4 jail inmates in 1989 was in jail for a drug offense, compared to 1 in 10 in 1983; drug offenders constituted 21% of 1991 state prison inmates and 61% of 1993 federal prison inmates.
· Black males have an 18% chance of serving time in a juvenile or adult prison at some point in their lives; white males have a 3% chance.
Sources: Bureau of Justice Statistics, Corrections Compendium, and The Sentencing Project. 10/95
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