The nation's prisons and jails held 2.1 million people in mid-2004, 2.3 percent more than the year before, the government reported on Sunday. The &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/society/2001/03/07/2884.html ' target=_blank>inmate population increased by slightly more than 48,000 from mid-2003 to mid-2004, a growth of about 900 inmates each week, according to the latest figures from the Bureau of &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/society/2001/02/23/2682.html ' target=_blank>Justice Statistics.
The total inmate population has hovered around two million for the last few years: It was 2.1 million on June 30, 2002, and just below that mark a year later.
While the crime rate has fallen over the last decade, the number of people going to prison and jail is outpacing the number of inmates released, said an author of the report, Paige M. Harrison.
Ms. Harrison said the increase could be largely attributed to get-tough policies enacted in the 1980's and 1990's. Among them are mandatory sentences for drug crimes, "three strikes and you're out" laws for repeat offenders and "truth in sentencing" laws that restrict early releases, informs the New York Times.
The total inmate population has hovered around 2 million for the past few years, reaching 2.1 million on June 30, 2002, and just below that mark a year later.