Prison, Jail Counts Up Again; More Pretrial Suspects Held


U.S. prisons and jails added more than 1,000 inmates each week for a year ending in mid-2005. That puting almost 2.2 million people, one in every 136 U.S. residents, behind bars, says a U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics report summarized by the Associated Press. The inmate count rose 2.6 percent in the year ending June 30, 2005. The population gain in jails was 33,539, the largest increase since 1997, said Allen J. Beck of BJS. That was a 4.7 percent growth rate, compared with a 1.6 increase in state and federal prisons.

Prisons accounted for about two-thirds of all inmates, or 1.4 million; the other third, nearly 750,000, were in local jails. , according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Beck said that the proportion of pretrial inmates in jail, now 62 percent, is increasing. “Judges are perhaps more reluctant to release people pretrial,” he said. Overall, 738 people were locked up for every 100,000 residents, compared with 725 at mid-2004. The states with the highest rates were Louisiana and Georgia, followed by Texas, Mississippi, and Oklahoma.


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