State population is down but Federal is up, resulting in an overall prison population increase of 0.2%, as reported by the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics Press Release.
“WASHINGTON – During 2009, the number of prisoners under jurisdiction of state correctional authorities decreased by 2,941 inmates (down 0.2 percent), the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) in the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, announced today. This was the first decline in the state prison population since 1972.
“Twenty-four states experienced decreases in their prison populations and 26 had increases. Six states reported declines of more than 1,000 prisoners: Michigan (down 3,260), California (down 2,395), New York (down 1,660), Mississippi (down 1,272), Texas (down 1,257), and Maryland (down 1,069). States reporting the largest increases included: Pennsylvania (up 2,214), Florida (up 1,527), Louisiana (up 1,399), Alabama (up 1,282) and Arizona (up 1,038).
“The federal prison population increased by 6,838 (or 3.4%) which accounted for all of the increase in the U.S. prison population. The increase in federal prisoners was slightly less than the average annual growth of 4.1% in the federal prison population that occurred from 2000 through 2008.
“By yearend 2009, the U.S. prison population (state and federal prisoners combined) reached 1,613,656, increasing by 0.2% during the year. The increase of 3,897 prisoners was the smallest annual increase during the current decade.
“As of June 30, 2009, state and federal prisons and local jails had custody over 2,297,400 inmates, a decrease of 0.5 percent since yearend 2008. This decrease resulted from the 2.3 percent decline of inmates held in local jails, which hold over a third of the custodial population each year.
“Midyear 2009 incarceration rates for inmates held in custody in prisons or jails differed by race and gender. Black males, with an incarceration rate of 4,749 inmates per 100,000 U.S. residents, were incarcerated at a rate more than six times higher than white males (708 inmates per 100,000 U.S. residents) and 2.6 times higher than Hispanic males (1,822 inmates per 100,000 U.S. residents). Black females (with an incarceration rate of 333 per 100,000) were more than two times as likely as Hispanic females (142 per 100,000) and over 3.6 times more likely than white females (91 per 100,000) to have been in prison or jail on June 30, 2009.
“Non-U.S. citizens accounted for 4.1 percent (94,498 inmates) of the inmates held in custody in state or federal prisons. An additional 2,778 inmates held in state custody were under age 18.”