Wednesday, August 25, 2010

US Prison Population

The other day, I put up some stats of the US male labor force composition.  Commenter Greg noted that they excluded the prison population.  To start to get a handle on that, I found some statistics for the total number of adults under some form of correctional supervision at the Bureau of Justice Statistics.  The graph above shows the total population (in millions of persons).

That sure is a heck of a lot of people.  Wonder what fraction of GDP gets expended on this?


Nick G said...

Other analyses or comparisons I'd love to see:

What % of the US population has a felony, or several misdemeanors, and therefore can no longer get a conventional job (many professional and trade licenses are forbidden for people with felonies, and many industries routinely screen out people with criminal records, regardless of the nature of the job)?

How does US prison population compare with other countries, or with historically accepted examples of excessive rates of imprisonment, like the Soviet gulags?

brett said...

Interesting article in the Atlantic this month about using high tech monitoring as an alternative to prison.

Lars-Eric Bjerke said...


Wikipedia gives the below statistics on prison population per 100,000 inhabitants, which could be given some thoughts.

United States of America 756
Russian Federation 611
Australia 157
United Kingdom 148
Canada 107
Sweden 82
Japan 62
India 22