Examining Growth in the Federal Prison Population, 1998 to 2010

Research Report

Examining Growth in the Federal Prison Population, 1998 to 2010

Abstract

Growth in the size of the federal prison population over the past decade is largely driven by increases in time served, and particularly by longer lengths of stay for drug offenders. This research report, which examines changes in the federal Bureau of Prison's population from 1998 to 2010, also notes that a higher conviction rate in drug cases and heightened enforcement of immigration and weapon offenses contribute to prison population growth. This growth was moderated by reductions in the rate at which sentenced offenders were admitted to prison and modest declines in the federal prosecution rate. Report findings were based on a statistical decomposition analysis using data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics' Federal Justice Statistics Program.

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