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Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear, 1997


SUNDAY, JANUARY 18, 1998            202/307-0784
MILLION     Up Almost 100,000 in a Year

     WASHINGTON, D.C. -- As of last June 30 the
nation's prisons and jails held 1,725,842 men
and women, an increase of more than 96,100
inmates over the prior year, the Justice
Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
announced today.
     From July 1, 1996, to June 30, 1997, the
number of prisoners under state and federal
jurisdiction grew by 55,198, or 4.7 percent,
which was less than the annual average increase
of 7.7 percent since 1990.  During the same
period, the number of local jail inmates grew by
48,587, or 9.4 percent, considerably more than
the 4.9 percent average annual growth since
     From midyear 1996 through midyear 1997 the
total population incarcerated in the country's
jails and prisons increased by 96,100 men and
women--or 1,849 inmates per week on average. 
Since 1990 the number of people in custody has
risen more than 577,100 inmates--or 1,708
inmates per week on average.  By midyear 1997
one in every 155 U.S. residents was behind bars.
     The number of inmates in custody on June
30, 1997, was as follows:
          Federal prisoners . . . . .  99,175.
          Local jail inmates . . . .  567,079.
          State prisoners  . . . .  1,059,588. 
     The jail inmate population included about
9,100 juveniles, according to the BJS bulletin
on the country's incarcerated population.  More
than three quarters of these young inmates had
been convicted or were being held for trial as
adults in criminal court.
     At midyear 1997 state and federal prisons
held 436 inmates per 100,000 U.S. residents who
were serving sentences of at least one year, an
increase over the 1990 rate of 292 per 100,000
residents.  Texas had the highest rate (677
inmates per 100,000 population), followed by
Louisiana (651) and Oklahoma (599). North Dakota
(104), Minnesota (114), and Maine (118) had the
lowest prison incarceration rates.
     Hawaii recorded the largest rate of prison
population growth--21.6 percent, followed by
North Dakota (15.5 percent) and Wisconsin (15.4
percent).  The only jurisdictions that had 
declines in their prison populations were
Massachusetts (down 0.7 percent), Virginia (down
0.5 percent) and the District of Columbia (down
0.2 percent).
     Local jails throughout the country as of
last June 30 had 637,319 inmates under their
jurisdiction, of which more than 70,000 men and
women were supervised in the community in
programs such as weekend reporting, home
detention, electronic monitoring, and other
alternatives to incarceration.  At midyear local
jails held 212 inmates per 100,000 residents, up
from 163 per 100,000 in 1990.  
     The largest jail populations were in Los
Angeles County (21,962 inmates on June 30,
1997); New York City (17,528 inmates); Cook
County, Illinois, (9,189); Harris County, Texas,
(8,224); and Dade County, Florida (7,320).
     Local jails held an estimated incarcerated
558,000 adults, of whom 235,200 had been
convicted of a crime and serving a sentence or
awaiting sentencing.  Approximately 322,700 had
not been convicted at the time of the survey. 
There were 118 white, non-Hispanic jail inmates
per 100,000 U.S. white men and women, 737 black,
non-Hispanic inmates per 100,000, 304 Hispanic
inmates per 100,000 and 87 per 100,000 other
     At midyear 1997 the nation's jails were
operating at 3 percent below their rated
capacity.  Since 1990 the capacity of 
local jails has risen by almost 192,600 beds,
while the number of inmates has increased by
almost 161,800.
     Women represent a growing percentage of the
Nation's prison and jail inmates.  There were
73,302 women in prison (6.3 percent) and 59,884
in jail (10.6 percent) in 1997, up from 5.6
percent and 9.2 percent, respectively in 1990.
     The bulletin, "Prison and Jail Inmates at
Midyear 1997" (NCJ-167247), was  written by BJS
statisticians Darrell K. Gilliard and Allen J.
Beck.  Single copies may be obtained from the
BJS fax-on-demand system by dialing
301/519-5550, listening to the menu, and
selecting document number ...... or by calling 
the BJS Clearinghouse at 1-800/732-3277.  BJS's
home page address on the Internet is:            
     Additional criminal justice materials can
be obtained from the Office of Justice Programs
homepage at:

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

End of File
Date Published: January 18, 1998