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Census of State and Federal Correctional Facilities, 1995


THURSDAY, AUGUST 7, 1997              202/633-3047

     WASHINGTON, D.C. -- State and federal officials
built 213 new prisons--168 state and 45 federal
facilities--with more than 280,000 beds between 1990
and 1995 to keep pace with the growing prison
population, the Justice Department announced today. 
As of mid-year 1995, there were 1,500 state and
federal prisons with a capacity of 976,000 beds--up 41
percent in the five-year period, according to the
"Census of State and Federal Correctional Facilities,
1995," published by the Department's Bureau of Justice
Statistics (BJS).
     During 1995 state prisons on average were
operating at 3 percent above their rated capacities. 
Federal prisons were about 24 percent above capacity. 
As of the 1995 census approximately one in four state
correctional facilities was under a court order or
consent decree to limit population or to address
specific confinement conditions.  However, the number
of facilities ordered by courts to limit their
populations declined from 183 in 1990 to 174. 
     The study was based on the nation's federal and
state prison inmate population, which as of June 30,
1995, stood at about 1 million--43 percent more than
in 1990, the year of the preceding census. 
     Between 1990 and 1995 the number of state and
federal correctional employees grew 31 percent to
347,320.  Correctional officers accounted for 64
percent of all prison staff members, while
professional, technical and educational employees
comprised 16 percent.  The remaining 20 percent were
administrative, clerical, maintenance or food service
     The new prison construction resulted in an
increase in the percentage of facilities less than 20
years old--growing from 37 percent in 1990 to more
than 50 percent in 1995.  Almost 40 percent of all
prison inmates in 1995 were held in facilities built
since 1985.    
     Corrections officials reported more than 14,000
assaults on prison employees in 1995--up 32 percent
from 1990 but the number of assaults per 1,000
employees remained unchanged at 15.
     Almost 26,000 inmates were assaulted during 1995--
up 20 percent since 1990.  However, the number per
1,000 inmates dropped from 31 assaults in 1990 to 27
in 1995. 
     More than 94 percent of all prisons operated
inmate work programs in 1995.  About 63 percent of all
state inmates and 90 percent of all federal inmates
participated in some type of work program.  Eighty
percent of all prisons offered a General Equivalency
Diploma or other secondary educational program, and 
almost one-quarter of all prisoners were enrolled. 
About 70 percent of all facilities offered
psychological or psychiatric inmate counseling.
     Approximately 4 percent of state inmates and 21
percent of federal inmates were known to be citizens
of other countries.  Between 1990 and 1995 their
number doubled from 25,250 to 51,500.
     About one-half of 1 percent of all state and
federal prisoners were less than 18 years old in 1995,
unchanged from 1990.  As of June 30, 1995, state
prisons held 5,309 inmates younger than 18.  Federal
prisons did not hold people younger than 18.  However,
64 offenders less than 18 years old were held in other
facilities under federal contracts.  
     Two percent of all state and federal inmates were
held in facilities operated by private contractors in
1995.  The census counted 81 privately-run community-
based facilities and 29 confinement institutions.
     BJS conducts the census every five years.  In
1995 it counted 1,196 confinement institutions and 304
community-based facilities.  Confinement facilities
include prisons, prison hospitals, bootcamps and other
institutions from which prisoners are not free to
leave.  Community-based facilities, such as halfway
houses and pre-release centers, typically hold inmates
who are nearing the completion of their sentences and
are permitted to leave to work or study in the
community.  The census excluded the nation's
approximately 3,300 locally operated jails and county
or municipal detention centers. 
     The census report (NCJ-164266) was written by BJS
statistician James J. Stephan.  This document and
additional information about BJS are available on the
BJS Internet site under the "What's New" section.  The
Internet address is: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/

After hours contact:  Stu Smith at 301/983-9354

Date Created: May 27, 2009