US prison population grows by record amount

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The number of inmates in US prisons grew by a record 42,915 to reach 412,303 at the end of 1982, the Justice Department said. It was the largest increase since the government began keeping statistics of the population in federal and state prisons in 1925, it said. One major reason was tight new laws governing convicted criminals - during the past several years , 37 states passed mandatory sentencing laws for many crimes. The department also noted the large number of ''baby boom'' males, which could continue to drive up the prison population through at least 1990.

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