Prisoners in 1997 reports the number of persons in State and Federal prisons at yearend, compares the increase in the prison population during 1997 with that of the previous year, and gives the 5- and 10-year growth rates. This annual Bulletin reports the number of male and female prisoners, the incarceration rates for States, and data on prison capacities and use of local jails because of prison crowding. Highlights include the following: During 1997 the number of female prisoners rose by 6.2%, slightly greater than the increase in male prisoners (5.2%). At yearend 1997, 79,624 women were in State or Federal prisons -- 6.4% of all prison inmates. On December 31, 1997, State prisons were operating at between 15% and 24% above capacity, while Federal prisons were operating at 19% above capacity. California (157,547), Texas (140,729), and the Federal system (112,973) together held 1 in every 3 prisoners in the Nation. Fifteen States, each holding fewer than 5,000 inmates, together held only 4% of the Nation's prisoners.