ONE IN 100 behind BARS: PEW Study

View Pew Study in PDF form

Three decades of growth in America’s prison
population has quietly nudged the nation across a
sobering threshold: for the first time, more than one
in every 100 adults is now confined in an American
jail or prison. According to figures gathered and
analyzed by the Pew Public Safety Performance
Project, the number of people behind bars in the
United States continued to climb in 2007, saddling
cash-strapped states with soaring costs they can ill
afford and failing to have a clear impact either on
recidivism or overall crime.

The Pew Charitable Trusts applies the power of knowledge to solve today’s most challenging problems.
Pew’s Center on the States identifies and advances effective policy approaches to critical issues facing states.Launched in 2006 as an initiative of the Center, the Public Safety Performance Project seeks to help states advance fiscally sound, data-driven policies and practices in sentencing and corrections that protect public safety, hold offenders accountable, and control corrections costs.

For additional information on the Pew Center on the States and the Public Safety Performance Project,
please visit


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