Recently the Federal Bureau of Prisons released an update of their prison population, which included breakdowns of race, sex, sentences and offenses. Currently, there are 189,984 inmates in the United States federal prison system. The breakdown of the information is at times typical and yet surprising other times. Did you know that the average age of a federal inmate is 38? Federal prisons, as you might know, are located all around the United States. The prisons are divided into minimum, low, medium and high (also known as maximum) security.
By far men are convicted of more crimes than women. Women account for just 6.7% of the entire federal prison population. They do make up 27.6% of the federal prison staff. The most common race of federal inmates is Black, followed by Hispanic (classified as white) and white non-Hispanic. Native Americans account for 1.8% of the population and Asians round out the list at 1.6%. There are currently 31,891 Mexican citizens serving time in the federal prison system.
The majority of inmates are locked up in low and medium security prisons. Only 10.3% of the federal inmate population is serving time in high security prisons. 18.7% are serving time in minimum-security locations. While the news routinely talks about how the government is soft on immigration, the stats provided by the Federal Bureau of Prisons show that at least some enforcement is happening. There are 18,886 (10.8%) inmates in the federal system doing time for immigration related offenses.
A strong majority of inmates are serving time for drug related offenses. Weapons, Explosives and Arson offenses are a distant second. Just over half of the entire federal inmate population is being incarcerated for drug related offenses. Most of those incarcerated are serving between 5 and 15 years. Only 3.1% of the population has a life sentence and a miniscule 38 have death sentences. 5-10 years is the most common sentence. Close to 30% of the inmates are serving a sentence of this length.
There are 3,657 sex offenders serving time in federal prisons. Countless others get out and renege on their obligations of release. Only 72.8% of those held in federal prisons are American citizens. Given all of this information, the average federal prison inmate is a minority male in his 30’s serving 5-15 years for a drug related offense.
Jason A. Martin is a journalist, copywriter and entrepreneur with over a decade of successful Internet business experience. His informational articles can be found around the world and at JasonAMartin.com .
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