The nation's prison population grew by 72,059 prisoners (6.8%) between yearend 1994 and 1995, which translates to an increase of 1,386 prisoners per week. The number of state and federal prisoners in custody has grown by an annual average of 8.3 percent since 1985.
California's yearend prison population topped all states at 135,646, followed in order by Texas (127,766), New York (68,484), Florida (63,879), and Ohio (44,677). The states with the highest incarceration rates (prisoners per 100,000 residents) were Texas (653), Louisiana (568), Oklahoma (552), South Carolina (515), and Nevada (482). The District of Columbia topped all states, however, in incarceration rate at a whopping 1,650 prisoners per 100,000 residents. Unlike previous annual BJS reports, the 1995 edition does not provide separate incarceration rates broken down by ethnicity.
The largest prison population increases among states in 1995 were reported by North Carolina (24.2%), Mississippi (19%), Idaho (18.4%), Wyoming (15.4%), and Nebraska (14.8%). In a five-year period from 1990-95, the states with the largest increase in prison populations were Texas (127.9%), North Carolina (59.5%), Virginia (57.5%), Mississippi (55.3%), and Minnesota (53.1%).
For the first time in several years, the growth in female prisoners slowed to a rate (6.5%) slightly less than that for males (6.8%). Nonetheless, there was a net increase from 64,340 to 68,544 female prisoners in 1995, about 81 more female prisoners per week.
Persons interested in obtaining a free copy of the 20-page report can do so by writing to: BJS Clearinghouse; P.O. Box 179, Dept. BJS-236; Annapolis Junction, MD 20701-0179.
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