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Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear 2001

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 10, 2002 202/307-0784


WASHINGTON, D.C. - During the first six months of 2001 the federal prison system added 7,372 inmates, the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. It was the largest ever six-month growth in the federal system. At the same time, the number of state prison inmates increased by a relatively modest 7,048.

Between July 1, 2000, and June 30, 2001, the federal prison population rose 7.2 percent, the state prison population rose 0.4 percent and local jail populations rose 1.6 percent. During the period state prison populations grew at their slowest rate in 28 years, while local jails rose at their slowest rate since 1982, when BJS started collecting such data.

On June 30, 2001, about 1,965,495 men and women were in prison or in a local jail-the equivalent of 1 in every 145 U.S. residents. Local jails held 631,240 inmates, up 10,091 from midyear 2000. State prisons held 1,252,743 people under their jurisdiction and the federal corrections system had 152,788.

For the 12 months ending at midyear 2001, federal, state and local governments had to find room for 30,505 more inmates, the equivalent of 587 more inmates each week.

At midyear 2001, jails were operating at 90 percent of capacity, down from 104 percent of capacity in 1990. At year-end 2000, according to the latest available data, state prisons were operating at between 100 percent and 115 percent of capacity, while Federal prisons were at 31 percent above capacity.

Privately operated prison facilities held 94,948 inmates on June 30, 2001, up 4.9 percent from six months earlier. Four states had at least 30 percent of their inmates in privately operated facilities, led by New Mexico (45 percent), Alaska (34 percent), Montana (30 percent) and Oklahoma (30 percent). The federal system (with 18,185 inmates in private facilities) and Texas (with 17,746) reported the largest number at midyear 2001.

During the 12 months ending June 30, 2001, the largest state prison systems lost 6,739 inmates: Texas was down 3,661, New York 2,553 and California 525. Florida added 774 inmates, making it the third largest state prison system at midyear 2001. However, some smaller states had significant percentage increases during the period: Mississippi increased by 12.5 percent, West Virginia by 8.7 percent and Vermont and Nebraska both by 7.7 percent. Eleven states had increases of at least 5 percent. Twelve states had decreases, including New Jersey (down 9.6 percent), Massachusetts (down 3.7 percent) and New York down 3.5 percent.

On June 30, 2001, there were 3,147 state inmates under 18 years old, down from the peak of 5,309 in 1995. Local jails held 7,613 at midyear, down from 9,458 in 1999.

Among young adult U.S. residents in their 20s and early 30s, 12 percent of black males, 4 percent of Hispanic males and 1.8 percent of white males were behind bars.

As of June 30, 2001, approximately 161,200 women were in prisons or jails, compared to 1.8 million men. Relative to their number in the population, men were incarcerated at a rate 1½ times that of women. At midyear 2001 there were 1,318 males incarcerated per 100,000 male residents and 113 incarcerated females per 100,000 female residents.

The BJS bulletin, "Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear 2001" (NCJ-191702) was written by BJS statisticians Allen J. Beck, Jennifer C. Karberg and Paige M. Harrison. Single copies may be obtained by calling the BJS Clearinghouse at 1-800/732-3277. After the release date it will also be available at:


The BJS Internet site is: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/

Additional criminal justice materials can be obtained from the Office of Justice Programs homepage at:


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After hours contact: Stu Smith at 301/983-9354
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Date Published: April 10, 2002