Inmate Population Rises 1,000 a Week

Elizabeth White, AP, May 22, 2006

Washington—Prisons and jails added more than 1,000 inmates each week for a year, putting almost 2.2 million people, or one in every 136 U.S. residents, behind bars by last summer.

The total on June 30, 2005, was 56,428 more than at the same time in 2004, the government reported Sunday. That 2.6 percent increase from mid-2004 to mid-2005 translates into a weekly rise of 1,085 inmates.

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Overall, 738 people were locked up for every 100,000 residents, compared with a rate of 725 in mid-2004. The states with the highest rates were Louisiana and Georgia, with more than 1 percent of their populations in prison or jail. Rounding out the top five were Texas, Mississippi and Oklahoma.

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The racial makeup of inmates changed little in recent years, Beck said. In the 25-29 age group, 11.9 percent of black men were in prison or jails, compared with 3.9 percent of Hispanic males and 1.7 percent of white males.

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