The Prison Population in Pennsylvania

14 Feb The Prison Population in Pennsylvania

The prison population swelled 500% since 1980 even though the total population only grew 7% and the crime rate decreased.

One in 28 adults in Pennsylvania was under correctional control at the end of 2007.

Over 14,000 inmates are in Pennsylvania’s 16 federal correctional facilities.

In Pennsylvania, we have 27 state prisons. Thirty years ago, we only had eight state prisons.

As of September 2012, Pennsylvania’s state prison population was 105% over capacity with over 50,000 inmates. Conversely, from 1940 to 1980, the state prison population stayed between 5,000 and 8,000 inmates.

The DOC is housing inmates in county jails because of overcrowded conditions.

Each inmate costs an average of about $36,000 annually or almost $100 for each person every day. Most of the cost is because of security.

Prisoners who are 65 or older cost between $65,000 and $100,000 per year for medical care.

The increase is not contributed to an influx of new residents since our population has been relatively stable. An increase in prison population is contributed to two factors: an increase in the number of crimes requiring prison terms and longer lengths in prison largely due to mandatory minimum sentences.

Over the past 10 years, only 2% of the new growth of admissions to the state system are due to violent offenders and 55% of the growth is for less serious Part II offenders.

Over 3,500 inmates each year have less than a year to serve, eight months before their minimum sentence. They have to complete required programs in prison before they can get parole rather than complete less expensive treatment in the community. Inmates may on