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U.S. has highest imprisonment rate, study says

More than one in every 100 American adults are now in prison, an all-time high that gives the United States the highest percentage of the population imprisoned in the world, a Pew Research Center study found.

More than 2.3 million people are currently held in local jails and state and federal prisons, and more than 11% of African-American men between the ages of 20 and 34 are currently incarcerated, the study said.

The growing prison population has led to some of the largest increases in spending by states in the past few decades, according to the National Association of State Budget Officers. Some states are pursuing programs to help parolees meet the conditions of their release and thus reduce the prison population.

Adam Gelb, who co-authored the Pew report, said that it would be more effective and less costly to keep some offenders under supervision in the community rather than putting them behind bars.

Sources:
Wall Street Journal
Washington Post