It assesses the sharp growth in prison population during 1981, when the number of prisoners increased by some 38,000, resulting in a record yearend total of almost 369,000 inmates, 12 percent higher than at yearend 1980. For the first time, each of the jurisdictions covered in the report (the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and the Federal Bureau of Prisons) reported increases over the previous year. The report surveys developments in the correctional and legislative areas that could lead to even greater growth. As in past reports, it also examines changes in the geographic distribution of prisoners; composition of the inmate population by race, sex, and Hispanic origin; incarceration rates for minorities; and the rates of various types of admissions and releases. Data for the report were collected and analyzed by the U.S. Bureau of the Census for the Bureau of Justice Statistics.