Encyclopedia > United States prison population

  Article Content

United States prison population

The prison population of the United States is in a constant state of flux., increasing or decreasing based on a number of factors, including the number of arrests, length of prison sentences, parole[?], legislation to determine what is legal and what is not, and so on.

In 2000, the state and federal prison population of the United States stood at 1,381,892, by 2002 it had risen to around 2.1 million. In 1990 the total prison population numbered only 773,905. Roughly 474 out of every 100,000 Americans are currently in prison, around 22% of the total world prison population.

The three states with the lowest ratio of imprisoned to unimprisoned population are: Minnesota (121 per 100,000), Maine (128/100,000), and North Dakota (120/100,000). The three states with the highest ratio are: Louisiana (763/100,00), Texas (704/100,000), and Oklahoma (653/100,000).

The United States has the highest proportionate prison population of any reporting world nation. Russia, which is currently in the process of releasing a number of improperly incarcerated citizens, has a rate of 644 per 100,000, and a 2002 total population of around 900,000. For the most part, the U.S. rate is five to eight times that of the Western European nations and Canada. The rate in England and Wales, for example, is 139 persons imprisoned per 100,000 residents while in Norway it is 59 per 100,000.

In terms of federal prison[?], 57 percent of those incarcerated are for drug offenses[?]. Currently, considering local jails as well, almost a million of those incarcerated are in prison for non-violent crime.

In 1993, roughly 2 1/2 percent of the U.S. population, or 4.9 million adults, were either on parole, probation, or in (local) jails or (state and federal) prisons.

In 2002 roughly 88% of prisoners were male. About 12 percent of all black males in the United States between the ages of 20 and 39 were in prison, compared to 4 percent of Hispanic males and 1.6 percent of white males.

See also: crime, law, war on drugs

External links

  • US Surpasses Russia As World Leader In Rate Of Incarceration (http://www.sentencingproject.org/brief/usvsrus.pdf), report by The Sentencing Project, a "501(c)(3) non-profit organization which promotes decreased reliance on incarceration and increased use of more effective and humane alternatives." Includes the rate of incarceration for the ten leading nations (US, Russia, Cayman Islands, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Bahamas, US Virgin Islands, Belize, Bermuda, Kyrgyzstan).

All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

  Search Encyclopedia

Search over one million articles, find something about almost anything!
  Featured Article
Islandia, New York

... from 25 to 44, 25.1% from 45 to 64, and 7.0% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 36 years. For every 100 females there are 92.3 males. For every 100 ...

This page was created in 23.8 ms