Crime: Prison Population: Prison Population

Overall national number of adult arrests, in jail and per year between 1980 and 2005.
Overall national number of adult arrests, in jail and per year between 1980 and 2005.  

Related "Issue of the Day" Entries

Border Drug Arrest on Eve of Spring Break
Published Monday, March 2nd, 2009

Attorney General Eric Holder announced the arrest of 750 individuals on narcotics-related charges and the seizure of more than 23 tons of narcotics in a multi-agency investigation known as Xcellerator. This announcement comes on the heels of the State Department warning college students to use caution when entering the spring break Mecca. The warning spoke of “the greatest increase in violence” occurring on the U.S.-Mexico border and thus advises use of caution. The state department’s web site also stresses that alcohol is “involved in the vast majority of arrests, accidents, violent crimes, rapes, and deaths suffered by American students on Spring Break.” Vacationers are also alerted that drug use, purchase, or possession can lead to jail “without bail for up to a year before a case is tried.”

According to the FBI, the number of adults in the prison system per capita has remained steady over the years as the rate remains consistent with the population. By far the largest number of arrests comes from drug arrests for both adults and juveniles. The drug arrests for adults has seen a sharp increase over the last decade with a slight decrease last year. For juvenile drug arrests, the reverse has occurred: the decade-long doubled rate has returned to its previous rate of an average 100,000 a year. As for the drugs of choice, adults and juveniles choose most commonly marijuana, cocaine and alcohol.

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U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics: Prisoners -
Reports the number of persons in State and Federal prisons at yearend, compares the increase in the prison population during 2005 with the previous year, and presents prison growth rates since 1995. The report also provides the number of male and female prisoners on December 31, 2005, and the rates of incarceration by jurisdiction. It includes the number of prisoners held at yearend in the U.S. Territories and Commonwealths, in military facilities, and in facilities operated by or for the Bureau of Immigration and Custom Enforcement. Data are presented on prison capacities and the use of local jails and privately operated prisons. Estimates are provided on the number of sentenced prisoners by age, gender, race, and Hispanic origin, and type of offense.

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Department of Justice: Restorative Justice Program -
For some time now there has been growing dissatisfaction with the justice system. Citizens feel disconnected, victims are dissatisfied, and those working in the system are frustrated. Policymakers are increasingly concerned about the burgeoning cost of justice in the face of this discontent and the high rates of recidivism that exist.