Thursday, November 3, 2005

2004 correctional supervision numbers

the department of justice released its national prison and probation and parole numbers for 2004 yesterday. together, the nation's total correctional population was 6,996,500 in december 2004: 4,151,125 were on probation, 1,421,911 were in prison, 765,355 were on parole, and 713,990 were in jail. this represents about 3.2 percent of the u.s. adult population, up from about 1.2 percent of the u.s. adult population in 1980. of course, the rate for males, young adults, and african americans is far higher than these national averages. although 7 million is a staggering number, it bears mentioning that, for the first time in a long time, the rate of correctional supervision actually declined slightly (from 3.186 percent to 3.175 percent) between 2003 and 2004. after close to three decades of growth, have we finally reached a "punishment plateau?"

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