In a previous article, I provided details on the increases in prison population through mid 2004. This article deals with information through the end of 2004, adds in those under community supervision, and compares growth in these areas to USA’s population growth for the same time frame.
On November 2, 2005, the Houston Chronicle printed an AP article by REBECCA CARROLL stating that “Nearly 7 million adults were in U.S. prisons or on probation or parole at the end of last year, 30 percent more than in 1995 …”. Details were provided by the Bureau of Justice Statistics in a news release, “The nation’s total correctional population was 6,996,500 in 2004, of which 4,151,125 were living in the community on probation; 1,421,911 were in a state or federal prison; 765,355 were living in the community on parole; and 713,990 were in [local] jail[s] …. The number has grown by more than 1.6 million adults under correctional authority control since 1995.” That is a 10 year growth of 29.6%.
Relative to prisoners only, another BJS press release included this additional detail, “As of December 31, 2004, there were 2,267,787 people behind bars in the United States, of which 1,421,911 were held in federal and state prisons (not including the 74,378 state and federal inmates incarcerated in local jails), 713,990 in local jails, 102,338 in juvenile facilities, 15,757 in U.S. Territory prisons, 9,788 in Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement facilities, 2,177 in military prisons and 1,826 in Indian country jails (as of June 30, 2003).”
The second BJS press release also included the following, “The nation’s incarceration rate rose from 411 sentenced inmates per 100,000 U.S. residents in 1995 to 486 inmates per 100,000 at the end of last year  – an 18 percent increase. (A ‘sentenced’ prisoner is an inmate serving a sentence of more than a year.)” The report also showed a 53 percent growth in the number of women prisoners, “As of December 31, 2004, 104,848 women were held in state and federal prisons – up from 68,468 in 1995.”
However, these changes need to be placed in the context of population growth of the nation as a whole. According to Census.gov, the July 1, 1995, estimated residential population was 266,278,393. According to another Census.gov report, the July 1, 2004 estimated USA population was 293,655,404. This 10 year growth in population was 10.3 percent. That’s one half the rate of total prisoner growth, one third the rate of prisoners plus those on parole or probation, and one fifth the rate of growth for female prisoners!!!