For the first time in decades, the nation's jail population was declined by 2.3 percent from June 2008 to June 2009, according to a study by the Department of Justice released today.
DOJ: Jail Population Declines Over 2 Percent From 2008-2009
A study by the Justice Department has found that for the first time in the years that the nation's jail population has declined 2.3 percent in the period from June 2008 to June 2009, representing a drop in approximately 17,900 inmates.
The number of inmates in U.S. jails dropped by 17,900, the report stated. Jails differ from prisons since they are viewed with temporary holding facilities before trials or court hearings.
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, this is the first real decline in jail population since it began conducting the survey in 1982.
Justice Department officials said the rate of annual incarcerations has been dropping since 2005, which has finally resulted in a drop in the jail population now after years of increases. "Jail population declines were mostly concentrated in large jails," the report stated. "Among the 171 jail jurisdictions with 1,000 or more inmates on an average day, two-thirds reported a decline. Seven jurisdictions reported a drop of more than 500 inmates (accounting for 29 percent of the decline nationwide)."
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