1 in 100 Americans Now Behind Bars


The Pew Center on the States published a new report claiming that one out of every 99.1 adults – or 2,319,258 Americans – is now behind bars, giving America the largest prison population in the world – both in terms of per capita or raw numbers.

Some other interesting finds from the report:

– The US spent over $49 billion on corrections in 2007.
– The rate of increase for prison costs over the last twenty years was six times greater than for higher education spending.
– Kentucky witnessed a 12 percent inmate population increase in 2007 – the largest in the nation
– Average annual cost per prisoner: $23,876.
– California’s 2007 corrections spending: $8.8 billion; Texas’s 2007 corrections spending (which houses more inmates than CA): $3.3 billion
– Vermont, Michigan, Oregon and Connecticut all spent more on corrections than higher education

If you’re thinking about becoming a criminal, I’d recommend Rhode Island as the place to do it – the state annually spent $44,860 per prisoner, the highest in the nation.

A first: 1 in 100 Americans jailed – [MSNBC]


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