Public Safety, Public Spending

Forecasting America's Prison Population 2007-2011

After a 700-percent increase in the U.S. prison population between 1970 and 2005, you'd think the nation would finally have run out of lawbreakers to put behind bars.

But according to Public Safety, Public Spending: Forecasting America's Prison Population 2007- 2011, a first-of-its-kind projection, state and federal prisons will swell by more than 192,000 inmates over the next five years.

This 13-percent jump triples the projected growth of the general U.S. population, and will raise the prison census to a total of more than 1.7 million people. Imprisonment levels are expected to keep rising in all but four states, reaching a national rate of 562 per 100,000, or one of every 178 Americans.