News In Brief

State, federal prisons hold record 413,829 inmates

The number of federal and state prisoners grew 4.2 percent during the first six months this year to a record 413,829, according to government figures. In its mid-year report on prison populations, the Justice Department said total inmate populations ranged from a low of 402 in North Dakota to a high of 37,238 in California. California, Texas, New York, and Florida accounted for one-third of all state inmates, the report said.

The Justice Department said the increased number of inmates was due to new developments in the criminal justice system, including more convictions and harsher penalties. As a result of increasing prison populations, the government said, some state prison systems are as much as 30 percent over capacity.

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