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.
- 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.
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