|Random facts regarding state and federal prisons in the United States:
Federal & State Prisons:
On December 31, 2005:
- 2,193,798 prisoners were held in Federal or State
prisons or in local jails.
- The total increased 2.6% from midyear 2004, less than
the average annual growth of 3.4% since yearend 1995.
- There were an estimated 488 prison inmates per 100,000
U.S. residents - up from 411 at yearend 1995.
- The number of women under the jurisdiction of State or
Federal prison authorities increased 3.4% from June 30, 2004 to June 30, 2005,
- The number of men rose 1.3%, totaling 1,406,649 at
- At midyear 2005 there were 3,218 black male prisoners
per 100,000 black males in the United States in prison or jail, compared to
1,220 Hispanic male inmates per 100,000 Hispanic males and 463 white male
inmates per 100,000 white males.
- In 2002 there were an estimated 624,900 State prisoners serving
time for a violent offense. State prison also held an estimated
253,000 property offenders and 265,000 drug offenders.
- There are 98 Federal Prisons in the U.S.
- There are approximately 192,000 prisoners incarcerated
in federal prisons.
Type of Offenses:
- Drug Offenses: 93,546 (53.6 %)
- Weapons, Explosives, Arson: 24,400 (14.0 %)
- Immigration: 18,881 (10.8 %)
- Robbery: 9,788 (5.6 %)
- Burglary, Larceny, Property Offenses: 6,821 (3.9 %)
- Extortion, Fraud, Bribery: 7,267 (4.2 %)
- Homicide, Aggravated Assault, and Kidnapping Offenses: 5,501 (3.2 %)
- Miscellaneous: 2,274 (1.3 %)
- Sex Offenses: 3,718 (2.1 %)
- Banking and Insurance, Counterfeit, Embezzlement: 959 (0.5 %)
- Courts or Corrections: 735 (0.4 %)
- Continuing Criminal Enterprise: 584 (0.3 %)
- National Security: 99 (0.1 %)
Type of Sentences Imposed:
Approximately 92% are male; approximately 8% are
- Less than 1 year: 3,292 (1.9 %)
- 1-3 years: 23,086 (13.2 %)
- 3-5 years: 27,763 (15.9 %)
- 5-10 years: 51,357 (29.4 %)
- 10-15 years: 32,483 (18.6 %)
- 15-20 years: 14,996 (8.6 %)
- More than 20 years: 16,348 (9.3 %)
- Life: 5,486 (3.1 %)
- Death: 39
Average inmate age is 38.
- United States: 138,796 (72.8 %)
- Mexico: 32,054 (16.8 %)
- Colombia: 3,318 (1.7 %)
- Cuba: 1,649 (0.9 %)
- Dominican Republic: 3,285 (1.7 %)
- Other/Unknown: 11,463 (6.0 %)
Inmates By Race:
(Source: Federal Bureau of Prisons)
- White: 107,555 (56.4 %)
- Black: 76,559 (40.2 %)
- Native American: 3,317 (1.7 %)
- Asian: 3,134 (1.6 %)
- Hispanic: 60,075 (31.5 %)
Statistics By State:
Inmate Population 171,000
41,000 read at High School level.
1990 1,463 earned GED.
14,000 in prison educational programs.
3,254 college courses are completed each year.
10,400 offenders return to state prison each year.
62% are paid (.25-$4 hr) 10-13,000 waiting for paid positions.
No waiting on academic classes.
Each of state's 20 prisons have GED and ESL programs.
- Percentage of Georgia's general population that is African-American: 27
- Percentage of Georgia's prison population that is African-American: 68
- Percentage of district attorneys in Georgia's 46 judicial circuits who are African-American: 2
- Percentage of judges in Georgia's Superior Courts who are African-American: 10
- Percentage of homicides in Georgia in which the victim is African-American: 65
- Percentage of cases in which executions have been carried out in which the victim was white: 90
(Source: Southern Center for Human Rights)
- 79,000 men and 14,000 women between the ages of 18 and 65 were in jail or prison.
- 85,000 people were in state prisons.
- 48,469 were in local jails.
- 12,380 were incarcerated in federal prisons.
- 4,076 were in military lockups.
- 1,102 people were in halfway houses.
- 5,017 teenage boys and 1,303 girls were housed in juvenile facilities.
- 1,368 juvenile boys and 87 girls under 18 were incarcerated in adult lockups.
- 2,387 were behind bars in other types of correctional facilities
Florida - Juvenile and Adult Recidivism
The following is the recidivism rates by age for inmates two years after their
release from prison:
- Under 18: 51.3%
- 18-24: 40%
- 25-34: 36%
- 35-49: 30%
- 50-59: 15%
- Over 60: 8.7%
- Total: 33.8%
(Source: Florida Department of Corrections)
(From a New York Times article by Anthony Lewis, 12/21/99):
- One-fourth of the world's 8 million prisoners are incarcerated
in U.S. prisons. That's
2 million prisoners in
the United States!
- Two-thirds of the prisoners are there for non-violent offenses.("Chances
are good that by the time they are released — after sentences that are among
the longest anywhere — they will be thoroughly brutalized," wrote Lewis.)
- Operating costs for U.S. prisons in the year 2000 - approximately $40 billion!
- One-fourth of U.S. prisoners are drug violators with non-violent
crimes who will NOT receive effective treatment in our prisons.
Linacre J .M .(1996) The Prison Literacy Problem. Rasch Measurement
Transactions 10:1 p. 473-4.
"The U.S. prison population has tripled since 1980 to a record 1.5 million.
Another 3.5 million are on probation or parole. If this trend continues, the
number of Americans under the control of the criminal justice system, including
those in prison and on parole, will approach the number of full-time students enrolled
in four-year colleges and universities. It is alarming that two-thirds
don't have the literacy skills needed to function in society. An increasing
number of states are reducing their support for education programs for prisoners.
`With so many of our young adults incarcerated, are we comfortable with their overall
low levels of literacy? Most all will be released back into society.
Should we let them remain so unprepared for employment and social responsibility?'
stated Richard Coley."
(From ETS Developments 41:2, 1995-96, p.8).
One third of the prisoners read at less than a 9th grade
level. This places prisoners at a disadvantage additional to their criminal
history. They cannot compete in the work-place. If prison is to be a
place of correction and rehabilitation, then prisoners must acquire the skills needed
to give them, on release, a reasonable chance to become productive members of society.
Vigorous prison literacy programs are essential.
U.S. Prison Economics
(From Going Up The River: Travels in a Prison Nation; Joseph T. Hallinan;
Random House, 2001):
- No nation in the world incarcerates a higher percentage
of its population than the U.S.
- In the last 20 years, our prison population has more than
- The U.S. government predicts one in every eleven men will be imprisoned
during his lifetime - one in every four for black men.
- The prison industry generates more than $30 billion a year.
- In 1997, on phone call profits alone, the state of New
York earned $21.2 million, California made $17.6 million, and Florida made $13.8
million. (Prison Inmates must call their families collect. These rates are
the highest in the nation, passed on to the poor families who are unlikely to
refuse a collect call from an incarcerated family member. These legal kickbacks
from AT&T, Inc., Verizon Communications, Inc., and Sprint Nextel Corporation to the prisons are just one small example of the
big profits being made off of U.S. prison inmates. Prisons are big business in
- The average price of a 15 minute collect call from a correctional institution using Verizon "Maximum Security" is $18. That's $1.20 per minute.