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DOJ Press Release letterhead

Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Office of Justice Programs
Contact: Stu Smith
Phone: (202) 307-0784
TTY: (202) 514-1888


More Than 2.24 Million Incarcerated as of June 30, 2006

     WASHINGTON -- During the 12 months that ended June 30, 2006, the nation's prison and jail populations increased by 62,037 inmates (up 2.8 percent), to total 2,245,189 inmates, the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) reported today. State and federal inmates accounted for 70 percent of the increase. At midyear 2006, two-thirds of the nation's incarcerated population was in custody in a state or federal prison (1,479,179), and the other one-third was held in local jails (766,010).

            The number of prisoners under the legal jurisdiction of state or federal correctional authorities — some of whom were held in local jails — increased by 42,942 prisoners (2.8 percent) during the 12 months ending June 30, 2006, to reach 1,556,518 prisoners. In absolute number and percentage change, the increase in prisoners under state or federal jurisdiction was the largest since the 12 months ending on June 30, 2000.

            The growth in state prisoners was due largely to a rise in prison admissions, up 17.2 percent between 2000 and 2005. During the same period, releases from state prisons increased at a slower rate, up 15.5 percent. New court commitments totaled 421,426 during 2005, a 20.3 percent increase since 2000, and parole violators returned to prison totaled 232,229, up 14.1 percent.

            Forty-two states and the federal system reported an increase in their prison populations during the 12 months ending June 30, 2006. Idaho had the largest percentage increase (up 13.7 percent), followed by Alaska (up 9.4 percent) and Vermont (up 8.3 percent). Eight states reported declines in their prison populations, led by Missouri (down 2.9 percent), Louisiana and Maine (both down 1.8 percent).

            The number of federal prisoners increased by 3.6 percent to reach 191,080 prisoners. At midyear 006 the federal system had jurisdiction over more prisoners than did any single state, including California and Texas, which had jurisdiction over 175,115 and 172,889 prisoners, respectively.

            The number of local jail inmates increased by 2.5 percent during the year, the smallest annual percent change since 2001. Since 2000, the number of unconvicted inmates held in local jails has been increasing. As of June 30, 2006, 62 percent of inmates held in local jails were awaiting court action on their current charge, up from 56 percent in 2000.

            During the year, local jail officials added slightly more beds (21,862) than inmates (18,481). At midyear 2006, local jail facilities operated at about 94 percent of their rated capacity. On December 31, 2005, state prison systems were between 1 percent below and 14 percent above capacity. The federal prison system was operating at 34 percent above capacity.

            During the 12 months ending on June 30, 2006, the number of state and federal prisoners housed in private facilities increased by 10.1 percent to reach 111,975 prisoners (7.2 percent of all prisoners).

            Black men comprised 37 percent of all inmates held in custody in the nation's prison and jails on June 30, 2006. About 4.8 percent of all black males in the general population were in prison or jail, compared to 1.9 percent of Hispanic males and 0.7 percent of white males. Among black men age 25 to 34 years, more than 11 percent were incarcerated in prison or jail.

            The report, Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear 2006 (NCJ-217675), was written by BJS statisticians William J. Sabol, Todd D. Minton and Paige M. Harrison. Following publication it can be found at

            For additional information about the Bureau of Justice Statistics please visit the BJS Web site at

            The Office of Justice Programs (OJP), headed by Assistant Attorney General Regina B. Schofield, provides federal leadership in developing the nation's capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice and assist victims. OJP has five component bureaus: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; and the Office for Victims of Crime. Additionally, OJP has two program offices: the Community Capacity Development Office, which incorporates the Weed and Seed strategy, and the Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking (SMART) Office. More information can be found at