According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the total number of prisoners under the jurisdiction of federal or state correctional systems grew 5.2 per cent during 1997, with 1,244,554 individuals incarcerated in the nation's prisons and jails at the end of the year. The prison population in Alaska grew 13.6 per cent during 1997, the third highest rate of increase in the country. From 1987 through 1997, the U.S. prison population increased 113.5 per cent, while that of Alaska grew 45.5 per cent.
The U.S. rate of imprisonment per 100,000 in the general population was 445 at the end of 1997 (This rate is based only on the number of prisoners sentenced to more than one year - 96% of the total prison population.) The comparable rate in Alaska was 420.
On a national basis, black males continue to show the highest rates of incarceration:
Both the federal prison system and the state prison systems viewed as a whole were operating above capacity at the end of 1997. According to the BJS figures, Alaska's prison system was operating at 147 per cent of capacity at the end of 1997. (This Alaska figure excludes those held outside the state.)
The preceding article was derived from Bureau of Justice Statistics report "Prisoners in 1997," NCJ 170014. Copies of the entire report may be obtained on the World Wide Web from the Bureau of Justice Statistics at http://www.ojp. usdoj.gov/bjs/.