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U.S. Department of Justice

Bureau of Justice Statistics

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The nation's prison population exceeds 1 million for the first time in history, the Department of Justice announced today. At the end of June, 1,012,851 men and women were incarcerated in state and federal prisons. State prisons held 919,143 inmates and federal prisons held 93,708 inmates. California (124,813) and Texas (100,136) together accounted for more than one in five inmates in the country.

The prison population grew by almost 40,000 inmates during the first half of 1994, the equivalent of more than 1,500 a week--or three additional 500-bed prisons.

During the last 12 months the prison population expanded by more than 71,000, the second largest annual increase ever recorded. This growth was slightly greater than the annual growth in the preceding 12 months (69,525) and exceeds by 11 percent the average annual growth (63,793) during the previous five years, that is from July 1988 to June 1993.

The incarceration rate of state and federal prisoners sentenced to more than a year reached a record 373 prisoners per 100,000 U.S. residents last June. The states with the highest incarceration rates were Texas (545 per 100,000), Louisiana (514), South Carolina (504) and Oklahoma (501).

During the 12 months preceding June 30, 1994, eleven states recorded prisoner growth rates of 10 percent or more, led by Connecticut (20 percent), Texas (18 percent), and Tennessee (15 percent).

In the last decade the U.S. prison population doubled on a per capita basis. During this 10-year period, the incarceration rate doubled both for white inmates and black inmates. At the end of last year (the latest available data) there were 1,432 black inmates per 100,000 black U.S. residents and 203 white inmates per 100,000 white residents.

During the first six months of 1994, the number of female inmates grew 6.2 percent, compared to a 3.9 percent increase among male inmates.

On June 30, 1994, there were 61,872 women in state and federal prisons--6.1 percent of all prisoners. The male incarceration rate, 719 per 100,000 male residents, was more than 16 times higher than the female incarceration rate--43 per 100,000 female residents.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) collects state and federal prisoner data twice a year--on June 30 and December 31. These counts are designed to provide regular updates to the public on the number of people confined by state and federal authority. The data have been published since 1926.

The report was prepared by Allen J. Beck and Thomas P. Bonczar, statisticians in the Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). Data from tables and graphs used in many BJS reports can be obtained in spreadsheet files on 5 1/4 and 3 1/2 inch diskettes by calling 202-307-0784.

To receive a fax copy of the 3 tables with complete state data call 301-216-1827. Single copies of other BJS bulletins and reports 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. For additional information and statistics on drugs and crime call the BJS Drugs and Crime Data Center and Clearinghouse on 1-800-666-3332.

After hours contact: Stu Smith 301-983-9354.


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