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Prisoners at Midyear, 1995


SUNDAY, DECEMBER 3, 1995          202/307-0784


WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The number of state and
federal prison inmates grew by 89,404 during the
12 months ending June 30, 1995, the Department of
Justice announced today.  It was the largest one-
year population increase the Department has
recorded.  At the end of June, there were
1,104,074 men and women incarcerated in the
nation's prisons.  

     During the past 12 months the state prison
population grew by 9.1 percent and the federal
prison population by 6.1 percent, which is the
equivalent of 1,719 new prison beds every week. 
On June 30, 1995, state prisons held 1,004,608
inmates and federal prisons held 99,466.

     State and federal prisons, which primarily
house convicted felons serving sentences of a year
or more, hold about two-thirds of the more than
1.5 million adults incarcerated in the United
States.  The other third are held in locally
operated jails, which primarily house people
awaiting trial or serving sentences of a year or
less.  On June 30, 1994, the most recent date for
which jail data are available, 483,717 adults were
in local jails.

     The combined state and federal prison
population increase of 8.8 percent during the past
12 months was slightly higher than the average
annual growth (7.9 percent) recorded since 1990.  

     During the year preceding June 30, 1995,
prison populations increased by at least 10
percent in 23 states.  Texas reported the largest
growth (nearly 27 percent), followed by West
Virginia (26 percent) and North Carolina (18
percent).  Prison populations declined in the
District of Columbia (down 5.0 percent), Alaska
(3.1 percent), Arkansas (1.0 percent) and South
Carolina (0.8 percent).

     Between 1980 and 1994 the total number of
people held in federal and state prisons and local
jails almost tripled--increasing from 501,886 to
1,483,410.  As of December 31, 1994, the total
incarceration rate reached 565 inmates per 100,000
U.S. residents.

     The incarceration rate of state and federal
prisoners sentenced to more than a year reached
403 per 100,000 U.S. residents on June 30, 1995. 
Texas led the nation with 659 sentenced prisoners
per 100,000 state residents, followed by Louisiana
(573 per 100,000), Oklahoma (536) and South
Carolina (510).  The states with lowest rates were
North Dakota (90 sentenced prisoners per 100,000
state residents), Minnesota (103) and Maine (112).

     The rate for inmates serving a sentence of
more than a year was 776 males per 100,000 U.S.
male residents, compared to 47 females per 100,000
female residents.  Since June 30, 1994, the number
of female inmates has grown by 11.4 percent,
compared to an 8.7 percent increase among male
inmates.  As of mid-year 1995, there were 69,028
women in state and federal prisons--6.3 percent of
all prisoners.  

     During the last decade the number of black
inmates in state, federal and local jails and
prisons has grown at a faster pace than the number
of white inmates.  Although the number of black
and white inmates was almost equal in 1994, the
incarceration rate for blacks was much higher.

     According to data collected annually from
state, federal and local officials, the proportion
of black females in the U.S. who are incarcerated
was seven times higher than for white females in
1994.  Similarly, the proportion of black male
adults incarcerated was almost eight times higher
than for white male adults.  An estimated 6.8
percent of all black male adults were in jail or
prison compared to less than 1 percent of white
male adults.

     These data were analyzed by BJS statisticians
Darrell K. Gilliard and Allen J. Beck.  Additional
information may be obtained from the BJS
Clearinghouse, Box 179, Annapolis Junction,
Maryland 20701-0179.  The telephone number is 1-
800-732-3277.  Fax orders to 410-792-4358 (the
order number for this release is NCJ 158021).  

     Data from tables and graphs used in many BJS
reports can be obtained in spreadsheet files on 5¬
and 3« inch diskettes by calling 202-616-3283.
                       # # #

After hours contact:  Stu Smith at 202/616-3230
Date Published: December 3, 1995