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BOP Prisoner Population Exceeds 200,000

In September 2007, the federal bureau of Prisons (BOP) reaffirmed its hold on the title of being the nation?s largest prison system. A weekly population report showed BOP holding 200,052 prisoners for the first time.

Since the start of the ?war on drugs,? the nation?s prisons have continued to swell. At least 80 percent of those confined in BOP prisons are there on drug related crimes. Some are held on sentences that impose federal penalties that are increased for possessing crack cocaine as opposed to smaller penalties for possessing the same amount of powder cocaine.

Others are incarcerated after being kidnapped in their native country by federal authorities to face trial in the United States. The BOP reports that 28 percent of its prisoners are non-U.S. citizens.

The new population level is nearly 10 percent of the 2.3 million people held in numerous American prisons and jails. With the elimination of federal parole and the requirement that prisoners serve 85 percent of their sentences, the BOP is certain to continue its expansion.

Source: Bureau of Prisons

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