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Publication Prisoners in 1980

Carol Kalish

May 1, 1981    NCJ 76803

During 1980, more than 15,000 inmates were added to the rolls of the Nation's correctional institutions, continuing an upward trend of more than a decade. As correctional authorities coped with a record yearend total of 329,122 inmates, 28 States and the District of Columbia were under court orders to reduce overcrowding, and 16 States had a backlog of sentenced prisoners waiting in local jails for space in State facilities. However, the 1980 gain in prison population was limited to State facilities. The number of prisoners under the jurisdiction of Federal authorities fell by almost 8 percent to 24,363, continuing a decline begun in 1978 that has reduced the Federal population by one-fourth in 3 years. Factors relevant to the increased inmate population in State facilities include mandatory sentencing statutes, determinate sentencing laws, and passage of speedy trial acts. The number of women in State and Federal institutions grew slightly more than 2 percent in 1980, which is less than half the rate for men and substantially below the rapid increase of the mid-1970's. Women represented only 4 percent of the prison population, a proportion that has remained constant since 1975. Data are reported on overcrowding and changes in specific States' legislation relating to sentencing. Tables give statistics on prisoners for each State and for Federal institutions and the number of State prisoners, by State, held in local jails because of overcrowding. Information on the availability of annual reports including a final report on the prison population in 1980 is included. (Author abstract modified)


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