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AP Photo/California Department of Corrections

Analyzing the Demographics of Male and Female Inmates in U.S. Prisons and Jails

The Demographics Of Male And Female Inmates In Prisons

As of the end of 2016, the United States had 1,505,400 prisoners under state and federal jurisdiction. Of these prisoners, 1,393,975 were male and 111,425 were female, accounting for 7% of the total national prison population. The number of white prisoners was 439,800, black prisoners 486,900, and Hispanic prisoners 339,300. White men accounted for 39% of the male prisoner population, whereas white women made up 61% of the female prisoner population. For black men, the percentage was 41.3%, for black women 23.9%, for Hispanic men 16.6%, and for Hispanic women 10.6%.

At year-end 2016, 11% of prisoners sentenced were over the age of 55 years old. 7% of white males sentenced were 18 to 24 years old compared with 13% of black males, and 12% of Hispanic males. 16% of white male prisoners were over 55 years old compared with 10% of black male prisoners, and 8% of Hispanic male prisoners.

In 2015, 8% of white and black females were aged over the age of 55 years compared with 5% of Hispanic females. The figure for white females was more than twice that for black and Hispanic women at 48,900, 20,300, and 19,300, respectively. In addition, in this year, 2.5% of black male U.S. residents were in prison, that was 2,415 prisoners per 100,000 residents.

Over 21% of federal prisoners, 39,956 out of 189,192, were non-U.S. citizens (excluding persons detained by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security). States reported an additional 43,600 non-U.S. citizens in prisons. However, state data was under-reported, as five states (California, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, and Oregon) did not report counts, and some states likely provided under-counts. 96% of the non-U.S. citizens in prisons were males. States held fewer than 1,000 prisoners under the age of 17 in adult facilities, while the Bureau of Prisons held fewer than 50 prisoners under the age of 17 in private contract facilities.

Of the women in state prisons, 25% had been convicted of a drug offense compared with 14% of the male prisoner population. In contrast, 47% of federal prisoners were serving time for a drug offense, with 23% of Hispanic federal prisoners serving time for an adjudicated immigration offense.

The Demographics Of Male And Female Inmates In Jails

By the end of 2016, there were 740,700 people in local jails. The annual admission in 2016 was 10,600,000, with a daily average population of 731,300. Blacks were incarcerated at a rate of 3.5 times that of whites, 599 individuals per 100,000 black residents, compared with 171 individuals per 100,000 white residents. Hispanics were jailed at a rate of 185 per 100,000 Hispanic residents.

Males represented 85% of the jail population, with 377 individuals per 100,000 incarcerated in jails in contrast to 62 women per 100,000. Of these inmates, white males accounted for 48.1% of the jail population, black makes 34.4%, and Hispanic males 15.2%.

The Demographics of Inmates in North Dakota

North Dakota had 1,791 prisoners by the end of 2016. Of these, 1,578 were male and 213 females. The percentage of male prisoners in North Dakota was 88% whereas the national prison population had 92.6% male prisoners. The rate of imprisonment per 100,000 people in North Dakota was 235, whereas the national rate was 459 per 100,000 people. In North Dakota, 406 per 100,000 men were in jails, while the number was 865 per 100,000 nationally, and 56 per 100,000 women were incarcerated in jails compared with 65 per 100,000 nationally. The racial make-up of North Dakota prisoners comprises 65% white inmates, 8% black inmates, 5% Hispanic inmates, and 20% Native American inmates.

The Biggest Changes To These Demographics, Nationally, In The Past 50 Years

One of the key changes in the demographic make-up of prisoners over the past 50 years is the increasing number of females. Between 1980 and 1998, the number of female inmates in federal and state correctional facilities increased by over 500 percent. Another change is the rate of black inmates, which has been decreasing for the past 20 years. Age is another changing demographic, as many inmates have been serving long sentences for the past 30 years and are now over the age of 55.

Works Cited

📷 AP Photo/California Department of Corrections

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