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Number of inmates. 1920 to 2006.

Incarceration in the United States is a concurrent power under the Constitution of the United States, which means that prisons are operated under strict authority of both the federal and state governments. Incarceration is one of the main forms of punishment for the commission of felony offenses in the United States.

Less serious offenders, such as those convicted of misdemeanor offenses, may receive a short term sentence to be served in a local city or county jail, or to alternative forms of sanctions such as community corrections (halfway house) or house arrest. Different U.S. prisons operate at different levels of security, ranging from minimum-security prisons—that mainly house non-violent offenders—to Supermax facilities that house the more dangerous criminals.

The United States has the highest documented incarceration rate in the world.[1][2] The U.S. incarceration rate on December 31, 2008 was 754 inmates per 100,000 U.S. residents.[3] The USA also has the highest total documented prison and jail population in the world.[1][4][5]

According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS): "In 2008, over 7.3 million people were on probation, in jail or prison, or on parole at year-end — 3.2% of all U.S. adult residents or 1 in every 31 adults."[6]

2,304,115 were incarcerated in U.S. prisons and jails in 2008.[3][7] In addition, according to a December 2009 BJS report, there were 92,854 held in juvenile facilities as of the 2006 Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement (CJRP), conducted by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.[3][8]

The federal government, states, counties, and many individual cities have facilities to confine people. Generally, "prison" refers to facilities for holding convicted felons (offenders who commit crimes where the sentence is more than one year). Individuals awaiting trial, being held pending citations for non-custodial offenses, and those convicted of misdemeanors (crimes which carry a sentence of less than one year), are generally held in county jails.

In most states, cities operate small jail facilities, sometimes simply referred to as "lock-ups", used only for very short-term incarceration—can be held for up to 72 business hours or up to five days—until the prisoner comes before a judge for the first time or receives a citation or summons before being released or transferred to a larger jail. Some states have "unified" systems, in which all the jails and prisons are operated by the state. The federal government also operates various "detention centers" in major urban areas or near federal courthouses to hold criminal defendants appearing in federal court.

Many of the smaller county and city jails do not classify prisoners (that is, there is no separation by offense type and other factors). While some of these small facilities operate as "close security" facilities, to prevent prisoner-on-prisoner violence and increase overall security, others may put many prisoners into the same cells without regard to their individual criminal histories. Other local jails are large and have many different security levels. For example, one of the largest jails in the United States is Cook County Jail in Cook County (located in Chicago). This facility has eleven different divisions, including one medical unit and two units for women prisoners, with each of the eleven divisions operating at a different security level, ranging from dormitory-style open housing to super-secure lock-down.

In the state of California, to prevent violence, prisoners are segregated by race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation while held in county jails and in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation's reception centers, where newly committed prisoners are assessed prior to being transferred to their "mainline", long-term institutions.



USA and territories.[3]
Incarcerated population
Number of

in 2008
Total 2,424,279
Federal and state prisons 1,518,559
Territorial prisons 13,576
Local jails 785,556
ICE facilities 9,957
Military facilities 1,651
Jails in Indian country 2,135
Juvenile facilities 92,845
Over 7.2 million persons on probation or parole or incarcerated in jail or prison at year-end 2006. "About 3.2% of the U.S. adult population, or 1 in every 31 adults, were incarcerated or on probation or parole at year-end 2006." [9][7]
A graph showing the correctional population of the United States from 1980 through 2008 including those in jail, prison, on parole, and on probation.
A graph showing the Incarceration rate under state and federal jurisdiction per 100,000 population 1925-2008. The data for the graph does not include inmates in jails. The male incarceration rate is roughly 7 times the female incarceration rate.
This graph shows a sharp drop-off in violent crime since 1993.[10]

A judge sentences a person convicted of a crime. The length of the prison term depends upon multiple factors including the severity and type of the crime, state and/or federal sentencing guidelines, the convicted's criminal record, and the personal discretion of the judge. These factors may be different in each state and in the federal system as well. The vast majority of criminal convictions arise from plea bargains, in which an agreement is made between prosecutors and defense counsel for the defendant to plead guilty to a lesser charge for a lesser sentence than they would receive if found guilty at trial.

Some prisoners are given life sentences. In some states, a life sentence means life, without the possibility of parole. In other states, people with life sentences are eligible for parole. In some cases the death penalty may be applied.

Many legislatures continued to reduce discretion in both the sentencing process and the determination of when the conditions of a sentence have been satisfied. Determinate sentencing, use of mandatory minimums, and guidelines-based sentencing continue to remove the human element from sentencing, such as the prerogative of the judge to consider the mitigating or extenuating circumstances of a crime to determine the appropriate length of the incarceration. As the consequence of "three strikes laws," the increase in the duration of incarceration in the last decade was most pronounced in the case of life prison sentences, which increased by 83% between 1992 and 2003.[11]

Security levels

Prisoners reside in different facilities that vary by security level, especially in security measures, administration of inmates, type of housing, and weapons and tactics used by corrections officers. The federal government's Bureau of Prisons uses a numbered scale from one to five to represent the security level. Level five is the most secure, while level one is the least. State prison systems operate similar systems. California, for example, classifies its facilities from Reception Center through Levels I through V (minimum to maximum security) to specialized high security units (all considered Level V) including Security Housing Unit (SHU)—California's version of supermax—and related units. As a general rule, county jails, detention centers, and reception centers, where new commitments are first held either while awaiting trial or before being transferred to "mainline" institutions to serve out their sentences, operate at a relatively high level of security, usually close security or higher.

Supermax prison facilities provide the highest level of prison security. These units hold those considered the most dangerous inmates. These include inmates who have committed assaults, murders, or other serious violations in less secure facilities, and inmates known to be or accused of being prison gang members. Most states have either a supermax section of a prison facility or an entire prison facility designated as a supermax. The United States Federal Bureau of Prisons operates a number of supermax facilities across the country.

One Federal supermax is deserving of special note: ADX Florence, located in Florence, Colorado, also known as the "Alcatraz of the Rockies", widely considered to be perhaps the most secure prison in the United States. ADX Florence has a standard supermax section where assaultive, violent, and gang-related inmates are kept under normal supermax conditions of 23-hour confinement and abridged amenities. ADX Florence is considered to be of a security level above that of all other prisons in the United States, at least in the "ideological" ultramax part of it, which features permanent, 24-hour solitary confinement with rare human contacts or opportunity to earn better conditions through good behavior.

In a maximum security prison or area, all prisoners have individual cells with sliding doors controlled from a secure remote control station. Prisoners are allowed out of their cells one out of twenty four hours. When out of their cells, prisoners remain in the cell block or an exterior cage. Movement out of the cell block or "pod" is tightly restricted using restraints and escorts by correctional officers.

Under close security, prisoners usually have one- or two-person cells operated from a remote control station. Each cell has its own toilet and sink. Inmates may leave their cells for work assignments or correctional programs and otherwise may be allowed in a common area in the cellblock or an exercise yard. The fences are generally double fences with watchtowers housing armed guards, plus often a third, lethal-current electric fence in the middle.

Prisoners that fall into the medium security group may sleep in dormitories on bunk beds with lockers to store their possessions. They may have communal showers, toilets and sinks. Dormitories are locked at night with one or more correctional officers supervising. There is less supervision over the internal movements of prisoners. The perimeter is generally double fenced and regularly patrolled.

Prisoners in minimum security facilities are considered to pose little physical risk to the public and are mainly non-violent "white collar criminals". Minimum security prisoners live in less-secure dormitories, which are regularly patrolled by correctional officers. As in medium security facilities, they have communal showers, toilets, and sinks. A minimum-security facility generally has a single fence that is watched, but not patrolled, by armed guards. At facilities in very remote and rural areas, there may be no fence at all. Prisoners may often work on community projects, such as roadside litter cleanup with the state department of transportation or wilderness conservation. Many minimum security facilities are small camps located in or near military bases, larger prisons (outside the security perimeter) or other government institutions to provide a convenient supply of convict labor to the institution. Many states allow persons in minimum-security facilities access to the Internet.


Federal Prisoner Distribution.png

American prisons and jails held 2,304,115 inmates in 2008.[7] Approximately one in every 18 men in the United States is behind bars or being monitored. A significantly greater percentage of the American population is in some form of correctional control even though crime rates have declined by about 25 percent from 1988-2008.[12] 70% of prisoners in the United States are non-whites.[13] In recent decades the U.S. has experienced a surge in its prison population, quadrupling since 1980, partially as a result of mandated sentences that came about during the "war on drugs." Violent crime and property crime have declined since the early 1990s.[14]

As of 2004, the three states with the lowest ratio of imprisoned to civilian population are Maine (148 per 100,000), Minnesota (171 per 100,000), and Rhode Island (175 per 100,000). The three states with the highest ratio are Louisiana (816 per 100,000), Texas (694 per 100,000), and Mississippi (669 per 100,000).[15]

Nearly one million of those incarcerated in state and federal prisons, as well as local jails, are serving time for committing non-violent crimes.[16]

In 2002, 93.2% of prisoners were male. About 10.4% of all black males in the United States between the ages of 25 and 29 were sentenced and in prison, compared to 2.4% of Hispanic males and 1.3% of white males.[17]

In 2005, about 1 out of every 136 U.S. residents was incarcerated either in prison or jail.[18] The total amount being 2,320,359, with 1,446,269 in state and federal prisons and 747,529 in local jails.[19]

A 2005 report estimated that 27% of federal prison inmates are noncitizens, convicted of crimes while in the country legally or illegally.[20] However, federal prison inmates are only six percent of the total incarcerated population; noncitizen populations in state and local prisons are more difficult to establish. The World Prison Brief puts the total number of foreign prisoners in all federal, state and local facilities at 5.9%.[1]

Table 1 from Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear 2005.[21] A U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics report. According to a January 2009 OJJDP (Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention) report there were 94,875 held in juvenile facilities as of October 27, 2004.[22] Add those to the total inmates.

Comparison with other countries

The United States has the highest documented incarceration rate in the world at 754 persons in prison or jail per 100,000 (as of 2008).[3] A report released Feb. 28, 2008 indicates that more than 1 in 100 adults in the United States are in prison.[23] The United States has less than 5% of the world's population[24] and 23.4% of the world's prison population.[1]

By comparison in 2006, the incarceration rate in England and Wales was 148 persons imprisoned per 100,000 residents; the rate for Norway was 66 inmates per 100,000 and the rate in New Zealand was 186 per 100,000.[1] In Australia in 2005, the rate was 126 prisoners per 100,000 residents.[1] In the Netherlands, the 2002 rate was 93 per 100,000 prisoners. [25]

As well, the incarceration rate does not equate with the punishment rate — many other countries may practice corporal punishment or immediate capital punishment as an alternative to imprisonment.


The non-governmental organization Human Rights Watch raised concerns with prisoner rape and medical care for inmates.[26] In a survey of 1,788 male inmates in Midwestern prisons by Prison Journal, about 21% claimed they had been coerced or pressured into sexual activity during their incarceration, and 7% claimed that they had been raped in their current facility.[27]

In August 2003, a Harper's article by Wil S. Hylton estimated that "somewhere between 20 and 40% of American prisoners are, at this very moment, infected with hepatitis C". Prisons may outsource medical care to private companies such as Correctional Medical Services, which, according to Hylton's research, try to minimize the amount of care given to prisoners in order to maximize profits.

Also identified as an issue within the prison system is gang violence, because many gang members retain their gang identity and affiliations when imprisoned. Segregation of identified gang members from the general population of inmates, with different gangs being housed in separate units often results in the imprisonment of these gang members with their friends and criminal cohorts. Some feel this has the effect of turning prisons into "institutions of higher criminal learning."[28]

Many prisons in the United States are overcrowded. For example, California's 33 prisons have a total capacity of 100,000, but they hold 170,000 inmates.[29] Many prisons in California and around the country are forced to turn old gymnasiums and classrooms into huge bunkhouses for inmates. They do this by placing hundreds of bunk beds next to one another, in these gyms, without any type of barriers to keep inmates separated. In California, the inadequate security engendered by this situation, coupled with insufficient staffing levels, have led to increased violence and a prison health system that causes one death a week. This situation has led the courts to order California to release of 27% of the current prison population, citing the Eighth Amendment's prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment.[30] The three-judge court considering requests by the Plata v. Schwarzenegger and Coleman v. Schwarzenegger courts found California's prisons have become criminogenic as a result of overcrowding.[31]

In 2005, the Supreme Court of the United States case of Cutter v. Wilkinson established that prisons that received federal funds could not deny prisoners accommodations necessary for religious practices.


In recent years, there has been much debate over the privatization of prisons. The argument for privatization stresses cost reduction, whereas the arguments against it focus on standards of care, and the question of whether a market economy for prisons might not also lead to a market demand for prisoners (tougher sentencing for cheap labor). While privatized prisons have only a short history, there is a long tradition of inmates in state and federal-run prisons undertaking active employment in prison for low pay.

Some advantages of private prisons have been cited. These include flexibility, including the ability to terminate a contract more easily and cost-effectively than it would be to close down a government prison and lay off civil servants in the event of a decline in prison population. Private prisons also have an incentive to look for ways to save on costs; for instance, Travis Snelling of the Corrections Corporation of America notes that his prisons are designed to save on labor, which represents 70% of the total costs over the useful life of a prison. This is particularly important given that posts must often be manned 24 hours a day, requiring more than five employees to cover all the shifts. Snelling estimates: "If you can eliminate one post by your architectural design, just one, that'll save you well over $100,000 in a given marketplace, as far as labor is concerned."[32]

The three leading corporations in the private prison business in the U.S. are the Corrections Corporation of America, the GEO Group, and Cornell Companies.

Private companies which provide services to prisons combine in the American Correctional Association, which advocates legislation favorable to the industry. Such private companies comprise what has been termed the Prison-industrial complex.


Research indicates that inmates who maintain contact with family and friends in the outside world are less likely to be convicted of further crimes and usually have an easier reintegration period back into society. Many institutions encourage friends and families to send letters, especially when they are unable to visit regularly. However, guidelines exist as to what constitutes acceptable mail, and these policies are strictly enforced.

Mail sent to inmates in violation of prison policies can cost inmates "gain time" and even lead to punishment. Most Department of Corrections websites provide detailed information regarding mail policies. These rules can even vary within a single prison depending on which part of the prison an inmate is housed. For example, death row and maximum security inmates are usually under stricter mail guidelines for security reasons.

There have been several notable challenges to prison corresponding services. The Missouri Department of Corrections (DOC) stated that effective June 1, 2007, inmates would be prohibited from using pen pal websites, citing concerns of fraud. Service providers such as, together with the ACLU, plan to challenge the ban in Federal Court. Similar bans on an inmate's rights or a website's right to post such information has been ruled unconstitutional in other courts, citing First Amendment freedoms.[33] Since most DOCs already post inmate information on their websites, critics claim this is a moot point. Inmates' ability to mail letters to other inmates has been limited by the courts.[34] Inmate correspondence with members of society is typically encouraged because of the positive impact it can have on inmates, albeit under the guidelines of each institution and availability of letter writers.


The percentage of prisoners in federal and state prisons aged 55 and older increased by 33% from 2000 to 2005 while the prison population grew by only 8%. The Southern Legislative Conference found that in 16 southern states the elderly prisoner population increased on average by 145% between 1997 and 2007. The growth in the elderly population brought along higher health care costs, most notably seen in the 10% average increase in state prison budgets from 2005 to 2006.

The SLC expects the percentage of elderly prisoners relative to the overall prison population to continue to rise. Ronald Aday, a professor of aging studies at Middle Tennessee State University and author of Aging Prisoners: Crisis in American Corrections, concurs. One out of six prisoners in California is serving a life sentence. Aday predicts that by 2020 16% percent of those serving life sentences will be elderly.[35][36]

Inmates are unable to apply for Medicare and Medicaid. Housing one prisoner costs a state between $18,000 and $31,000 annually, $33 per day for the average prisoner and $100 per day for an elderly prisoner. Most DOCs report spending more than 10 percent of the annual budget on elderly care. State governments pay all of their inmates' housing costs which significantly increase as prisoners age.[35][36]


Through the juvenile courts and the adult criminal justice system, the United States incarcerates more of its youth than any other country in the world, a reflection of the larger trends in incarceration practices in the United States. This has been a source of controversy for a number of reasons, including the overcrowding and violence in youth detention facilities, the prosecution of youths as adults and the long term consequences of incarceration on the individual's chances for success in adulthood.


High rates of incarceration may be due to sentence length for crimes such as theft and drug possession.[37] Repeat offenders may not be properly handled due to a lack of focus on rehabilitation. Shorter sentences may even diminish the criminal culture by possibly reducing re-arrest rates for first-time convicts.[38]

Critics have lambasted the United States for incarcerating a large number of non-violent and victimless offenders;[39][40] half of all persons incarcerated under state jurisdiction are for non-violent offenses, and 20% (in State prisons, whereas Federal prison percentages are higher) are incarcerated for drug offenses.[19][16] "Human Rights Watch believes the extraordinary rate of incarceration in the United States wreaks havoc on individuals, families and communities, and saps the strength of the nation as a whole."[39] The population of inmates housed in prisons and jails in the United States exceeds 2 million, with the per capita incarceration population higher than that officially reported by any other country.[41] Because of its size and influence, the U.S. prison industry may be referred to as the prison-industrial complex. Criminal justice policy in the United States has also been criticized for a number of other reasons.[42]

Reporting at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association (August 3, 2008), Becky Pettit, associate professor of sociology from the University of Washington and Bryan Sykes, a UW post-doctoral researcher, revealed that the mammoth increase in the United States’ prison population since the 1970s is having profound demographic consequences that affect 1 in 50 Americans. Drawing data from a variety of sources that looked at prison and general populations, the researchers found that the boom in prison population is hiding lowered rates of fertility and increased rates of involuntary migration to rural areas and morbidity that is marked by a greater exposure to and risk of infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and HIV or AIDS.[43]


It is estimated that 1 in 9 state government employees works in corrections.[41]


In 2006, $68,747,203,000 was spent on corrections.[44] "The average annual operating cost per state inmate in 2001 was $22,650, or $62.05 per day; among facilities operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, it was $22,632 per inmate, or $62.01 per day."[45]

Housing the approximately 500,000 people in jail awaiting trial who can't afford bail costs $9 billion a year.[46] Most jail inmates are petty, nonviolent offenders. Twenty years ago most nonviolent defendants were released on their own recognizance (trusted to show up at trial). Now most are given bail, and most pay a bail bondsman to afford it.[47] 62% of jail inmates are awaiting trial.[5]

To ease jail overcrowding over 10 counties every year consider building new jails. As an example Lubbock County, Texas has decided to build a $110 million megajail to ease jail overcrowding. Jail costs an average of $60 a day nationally.[47][48] In Broward County, Florida supervised pretrial release costs about $7 a day per person while jail costs $115 a day. The jail system costs a quarter of every county tax dollar in Broward County, and is the single largest expense to the county taxpayer.[49]

Bondsmen have lobbied to cut back local pretrial programs from Texas to California, pushed for legislation in four states limiting pretrial's resources, and lobbied Congress so that they won't have to pay the bond if the defendant commits a new crime.

Behind them, the bondsmen have powerful special interest group and millions of dollars. Pretrial release agencies have a smattering of public employees and the remnants of their once-thriving programs.

States spend an estimated 7 percent of their budget on corrections.[41]

The cost of medical care for inmates is growing by 10 percent annually.[41]


A 2002 study survey showed that among nearly 275,000 prisoners released in 1994, 67.5% were rearrested within 3 years, and 51.8% were back in prison.[50] However, the study found no evidence that spending more time in prison raises the recidivism rate, and found that those serving the longest time, 61 months or more, had a significantly lower re-arrest rate (54.2%) than every other category of prisoner. This is most likely explained by the older average age of those released with the longest sentences, and the study shows a strong negative correlation between recidivism and age upon release.

See also



  1. ^ a b c d e f Walmsley, Roy (2009). "World Prison Population List. 8th edition" (PDF). International Centre for Prison Studies. School of Law, King's College London.  "The information is the latest available in early December 2008. ... Most figures relate to dates between the beginning of 2006 and the end of November 2008." According to the summary on page one there were 2.29 million U.S. inmates and 9.8 million inmates worldwide. The U.S. held 23.4% of the world's inmates. The U.S. total in this report is for Dec. 31, 2007 (see page 3) and does not include inmates in juvenile detention facilities. For the latest info worldwide see World Prison Brief.
  2. ^ "New Incarceration Figures: Thirty-Three Consecutive Years of Growth" (PDF). Sentencing Project. December 2006. Retrieved 2007-06-10. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Prisoners in 2008. (NCJ 228417). December 2009 report from the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics. By William J. Sabol, Ph.D. and Heather C. West, Ph.D., BJS Statisticians. Also, Matthew Cooper, BJS Intern. Table 9 on page 8 of the PDF file has the number of inmates in state or federal public prison facilities, local jails, U.S. territories, military facilities, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) owned and contracted facilities, jails in Indian country, and juvenile facilities. Table 8 on page 8 has the incarceration rates for 2000, 2007, and 2008.
  4. ^ World Prison Brief - Highest to Lowest Figures. International Centre for Prison Studies. School of Law, King's College London.
  5. ^ a b "Prison Brief for United States of America". King's College London, International Centre for Prison Studies. 
  6. ^ "Total correctional population". United States Bureau of Justice Statistics. 
  7. ^ a b c Correctional Population Trends Chart. U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics
  8. ^ Sickmund, M., Sladky, T.J., Kang, W., & Puzzanchera, C. (2008). "Easy Access to the Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement." Available: - click "crosstabs" at the top, and then choose the census year. Click "Show table" to get the total number of juvenile inmates for that year.
  9. ^ Glaze, Lauren E.; Bonczar, Thomas P. (July 2, 2008). "Probation and Parole in the United States, 2006" (pdf). U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), U.S. Department of Justice. 
  10. ^ "Violent Crime since 1993". Bureau of Justice Statistics, US Department of Justice. Retrieved 2006-09-27. 
  11. ^ Mauer, Marc; King, Ryan S; Young, Malcolm C (May 2004). "The Meaning of “Life”: Long Prison Sentences in Context" (pdf). The Sentencing Project. p. 3. 
  12. ^ Moore, Solomon (March 2, 2009). "Prison Spending Outpaces All but Medicaid". New York Times: p. A13. 
  13. ^ "Resisting the Prison Industrial Complex". State University of New York - Binghamton. 
  14. ^ "Drug Arrests by Age, 1970-2007". Bureau of Justice Statistics, US Department of Justice. Retrieved 2006-12-09. 
  15. ^ Beck, Allen J.; Harrison, Paige M. (October 23, 2005). "Prisoners in 2004" (PDF). Bureau of Justice Statistics. Retrieved 2006-06-28. 
  16. ^ a b "America's One-Million Nonviolent Prisoners" (pdf). Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice. March 1999. Retrieved 2006-06-13. 
  17. ^ Beck, Allen J.; Harrison, Paige M. (July 27, 2003). "Prisoners in 2002" (PDF). Bureau of Justice Statistics. Retrieved 2006-06-13. 
  18. ^ Elizabeth White (22 May 2006). "1 in 136 U.S. Residents Behind Bars". Associated Press. 
  19. ^ a b Harrison, Paige M.; Beck, Allen J. (November 2006). "Prisoners in 2005" (PDF). U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics. p. 13. 
  20. ^ "GAO-05-337R Information on Criminal Aliens Incarcerated in Federal and State Prisons and Local Jails" (pdf). General Accounting Office. April 7, 2005. 
  21. ^ Harrison, Paige M.; Beck, Allen J. (May 21, 2006). "Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear 2005". United States Bureau of Justice Statistics. 
  22. ^ Juvenile Residential Facility Census, 2004: Selected Findings. (NCJ 222721) January 2009. By Sarah Livsey, Melissa Sickmund, and Anthony Sladky. OJJDP (Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention).
  23. ^ Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named pewcenterstudy; see Help:Cite error.
  24. ^ US & World Population Clock. U.S. Census Bureau.
  25. ^ Walmsley, Roy (2003). "World Prison Population List (fourth edition)" (pdf). International Centre for Prison Studies. School of Law, King's College London. 
  26. ^ "Inhumane Prison Conditions Still Threaten Life, Health of Alabama Inmates Living with HIV/AIDS, According to Court Filings". Human Rights Watch. February 27, 2005. Retrieved 2006-06-13. 
  27. ^ Cindy Struckman-Johnson & David Struckman-Johnson (December 2000). "Sexual Coercion Rates in Seven Midwestern Prisons for Men" (PDF). The Prison Journal 80 (4): 379–390. 
  28. ^ "Gang and Security Threat Group Awareness". Florida Department of Corrections. Retrieved 2006-06-13. 
  29. ^ Thompson, Don (2008-04-05). "Prison Attacks Calling Attention to Overcrowding". Associated Press. Retrieved 2009-08-06. 
  30. ^ Moore, Solomon (2009-08-05). "California Prisons Must Cut Inmate Population". New York Times. p. A10. Retrieved 2009-08-06. 
  31. ^ Order for population reduction plan, pg. 9, three-judge court convened by the Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit hearing Plata v. Schwarzenegger and Coleman v. Schwarzenegger
  32. ^ Crime Pays. 14. 60 Minutes. 25 November 1984. 
  33. ^ "Arizona Inmates Back on the Net". Wired News. 2002. Retrieved 2008-01-26. 
  34. ^ "Prisoners’ Rights – Legal Correspondence". FindLaw. Retrieved 2008-01-26. 
  35. ^ a b "Aging inmates clogging nation's prisons". Associated Press. September 30, 2007. 
  36. ^ a b Aday, Ronald H. (2003). Aging Prisoners: Crisis in American Corrections. Praeger. ISBN 0275971236. 
  37. ^ Pelaez, Vicky (2005-10-13). "The prison industry in the United States: big business or a new form of slavery?". El Diario-La Prensa, New York. Retrieved 2009-08-28. 
  38. ^ "The effect of prison on criminal behavior". Public Safety Canada. November 1999. Retrieved 2009-08-28. 
  39. ^ a b Fellner, Jamie (November 30, 2006). "US Addiction to Incarceration Puts 2.3 Million in Prison". Human Rights Watch. Retrieved 2007-06-02. 
  40. ^ Abramsky, Sasha (January 22, 2002). Hard Time Blues: How Politics Built a Prison Nation. Thomas Dunne Books. ISBN 0312268114. 
  41. ^ a b c d Liptak, Adam (February 28, 2008). "1 in 100 U.S. Adults Behind Bars, New Study Says". New York Times. Retrieved 8 January 2010. 
  42. ^ Slevin, Peter (June 8, 2006). "U.S. Prison Study Faults System and the Public". The Washington Post. 
  43. ^ University of Washington (August 3, 2008). "Bulging Prison System Called Massive Intervention in American Family Life". Press release. 
  44. ^ a b "Direct expenditures by criminal justice function, 1982–2006". U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Retrieved 29 December 2009. 
  45. ^ "Expenditures/Employment". U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Retrieved 29 December 2009. 
  46. ^ Inmates Who Can't Make Bail Face Stark Options. By Laura Sullivan. January 22, 2010. National Public Radio.
  47. ^ a b Bail Burden Keeps U.S. Jails Stuffed With Inmates. By Laura Sullivan. January 21, 2010. National Public Radio.
  48. ^ Jails Stuffed To Capacity In Many U.S. Counties. January 20, 2010. National Public Radio. Chart using 2008 jail statistics showing "50 U.S. counties with the largest numbers of inmates."
  49. ^ a b Bondsman Lobby Targets Pretrial Release Programs. By Laura Sullivan. January 22, 2010. National Public Radio.
  50. ^ Langan, Patrick A.; Levin, David J. (June 2, 2002). "Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 1994" (pdf). Bureau of Justice Statistics. 

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