Burgeoning Prison Populations Strain State Budgets

Source: Liana Fox, Economic Policy Institute, Snapshot, March 12, 2008

A recent study released by the Pew Center on the States examines the rapid growth of the U.S. prison population, which has tripled over the past 20 years. The United States now holds the distinction of imprisoning more of its own citizens, both in total number and share of the adult population, than any other country in the world. In 2007, the United States had a record-breaking one out of every 100 adults in prison. Policy changes in sentencing and parole revocation, rather than increases in crime, have largely driven the increase in incarceration rates.

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