NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

COLLEGE DWELLERS OUTNUMBER THE IMPRISONED

September 28, 2007

The number of inmates in adult correctional facilities in the United States has topped two million for the first time, but in a reversal from 2000, more Americans now live in college dormitories than in prisons, according to the Census Bureau.

Consider:

  • Some 2.3 million Americans live in college and university dormitories compared with 2.1 million in adult correctional institutions.
  • The number of state and federal prisoners in 2006 was more than double the prison population in 1990 and up slightly from nearly 2 million in 2000.
  • Women accounted for 10 percent of the inmates in 2006, compared with 8 percent in 1990.

Among people living in group quarters:

  • Whites were almost twice as likely to be living in a dormitory as in prison.
  • Asians were nine times more likely to be in a college dorm than in prison.
  • Blacks and Hispanics were about three times more likely to be imprisoned than living in a dormitory.

However, while black male prisoners outnumber black men living in college dorms, more young black men (18- to 24-year-olds) are enrolled in college:

  • In 2003, according to Justice Department figures, 193,000 black college-age men were in prison.
  • While 132,000 black college-age men were living on campus, an additional 400,000 or so were attending college but living someplace else.

Source: Sam Roberts, "College Dwellers Outnumber the Imprisoned," New York Times, September 27, 2007.

For text:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/27/us/27census.html 

 

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