Jailhouse Nation

Monday, May 22, 2006
Number of U.S. inmates rises 2 percent

Inmate Amanda Espinoza stands in the Dakota Women’s Correctional Rehabilitation Center in New England, N.D., on Wednesday, May 10, 2006. The 21-year-old Grand Forks native said she wants to raise her son and attend college once she completes her 3-year prison term for failing to comply with her probation on an auto theft conviction. Oklahoma, Mississippi and the Mountain states have set the pace in increasing the imprisonment of women, while several Northeastern states are curtailing the practice, according to a new report detailing sharp regional differences in the handling of female offenders.

WASHINGTON — Prisons and jails added more than 1,000 inmates each week for a year, putting almost 2.2 million people, or one in every 136 U.S. residents, behind bars by last summer.

The total on June 30, 2005, was 56,428 more than at the same time in 2004, the government reported Sunday. That 2.6 percent increase from mid-2004 to mid-2005 translates into a weekly rise of 1,085 inmates.

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