State Prison Population Drops for First Time in 30 Years

The Bureau of Justice Statistics has released its annual report on the number of people in prisons and jails and on probation and parole.

For the first time in 30 years there was a slight drop in the number of state prisoners. Federally, the number is up 3.4%. The numbers for 2009 are still staggering:

7,225,800 people were either in prison, on probation or parole. That's 1 in 32 people or 3.1% of the population.

Of the 7.2 million, there were 1,319,426 inmates in state prisons and 205,087 in federal prisons. More than 4 million adults were on probation at the end of 2009, while 819,000 were under parole supervision.

There were 140,000 federal prisoners in 2000. In 2009, there were 205,000. The total number of incarcerated persons in 2008 was 2,300,700. In 2009, the number fell by a smidgen (0.7%) to 2,284,900. to The full report is here.

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