Prisons, jails see largest increase in inmates since 2000

Associated Press, posted on LocalNews8 June 27, 2007

WASHINGTON (AP) - Prison and jails across the country added more than 42,000 inmates last year ... the largest increase since 2000.

At the state level, Idaho reported a growth spurt of 6.9% in 2006 compared to the previous year. The Department of Justice revised its figures today after earlier reporting Idaho had a 13.9% increase to lead the nation.

Even so, the Gem State was 1 of 42 states reporting increases from 2005 to 2006.

Nationwide, the total number of people incarcerated by federal or state authorities in the year ending June 30th, 2006 was roughly 1.6 million.

Federal officials say that translates to a 2.8% increase from the previous year ... due mostly to people being put in prison at a faster rate than those released.

At the end of fiscal year 2006, Idaho had 6,976 inmates, up from 6,519 the previous year.

Idaho Department of Correction officials say they expect similar growth in the state's prison population through 2010.

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