Prison Lifer Numbers Now Exceed 1970 Incarcerated Population: Report
In 2016 alone, America had 206,000 people serving life sentences, according to the Campaign to End Life Imprisonment, a branch of The Sentencing Project, a nonprofit that advocates for sentencing reform and racial equality in the criminal justice system.
In 1970, the total prison population was 197,245.
Researchers collected information from state departments of corrections regarding the number of people serving life sentences at four distinct points in time: 2003, 2009, 2012, and 2016. The numbers were then compared and displayed on visual charts.
The largest number of inmates serving life sentences are housed in the South and the West. However, the researchers note a slight increase in life sentences in all 50 states.
Nevada’s and Utah’s current life-sentenced populations, “are more than four times each state’s entire prison population in 1970,” the researchers found.
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