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Prison Population Statistics Available

The annual BJS report on prison populations was released on Dec. 3, 1995. The number of state and federal prisoners grew by 89,707 during the 12 months ending June 30, 1995. It was the largest one-year population increase ever recorded in the U.S.

The state prison population grew by 9.1 percent and the federal prison population grew by 6.1 percent, which is the equivalent of 1,725 new prisoners per week. The combined state and federal prison populations grew by 8.8 percent, slightly higher than the annual growth (7.9 percent) recorded since 1990.

Texas reported the largest prison population growth (nearly 27 percent), followed by West Virginia (26 percent) and North Carolina (18 percent). There were declines in the District of Columbia (5 percent), Alaska (3.1 percent), Arkansas (1 percent) and of less than one percent in Maine and South Carolina.

Once again the population growth for females was higher, 11.4 percent compared to an 8.7 percent increase for male prisoners. Racial disparities continue to be significant. The proportion of Black females in the U.S. who were imprisoned was seven times higher than for white females. Similarly the proportion of Black adult males imprisoned was almost eight times higher than that of whites.

The BJS report "Prisoners in 1994" is available free by writing to: Bureau of Justice Statistics Clearinghouse, PO Box 179, Dept. BJS-236, Annapolis Junction, MD 20701-0179. You should ask to be placed on their "Corrections Reports" mailing list, which will ensure that you receive all of the prison-related BJS reports.

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