U.S. Prison Population Soars in 2003, ‘04

Siobhan McDonough, AP, Apr. 24

Growing at a rate of about 900 inmates each week between mid-2003 and mid-2004, the nation’s prisons and jails held 2.1 million people, or one in every 138 U.S. residents, the government reported Sunday.

By last June 30, there were 48,000 more inmates, or 2.3 percent, more than the year before, according to the latest figures from the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

The total inmate population has hovered around 2 million for the past few years, reaching 2.1 million on June 30, 2002, and just below that mark a year later.

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