Tags: Voting Rights | oregon | prison population | resident | demographics

Oregon: Prison Population Demographics vs. Resident Demographics

By    |   Wednesday, 27 Jan 2016 05:34 PM

The demographic makeup of Oregon's prison population was markedly different than the population of free residents in Oregon, according to recent data.

Prison demographics, for example, were found to be younger, overwhelmingly male, and less white compared to the state's residential demographics.


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Age

U.S. census data and prison data used different benchmarks when it considered the demographics of age.

For example, 15.5 percent of Oregon's residents were estimated to be older than 65 in the 2013 figures.

The Oregon DOC lowered the age bracket to 61 and older for its numbers. Seniors made up 6.2 percent of the prison population, showing that prison didn't mirror society when it came to its older citizens.

The U.S. census did not break down age groups between 18 and 65. The data from the DOC broke down ages into these groups: 18 to 24, 25 to 30, 31 to 45, 46 to 60, and 61 and older.

Inmates in the 31-45 age bracket, which was the most represented, accounted for 41 percent of Oregon's prison population, which totaled 6,015 people incarcerated around the state.

Gender

Men greatly outnumbered women in Oregon's corrections system, despite lagging overall in the general public. Nearly 92 percent of all prisoners were reported male, while census data showed that men only made up 49.5 percent of Oregon's residents.

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Race

According to 2014 United States census estimates, 87.9 percent of Oregon's nearly 4 million residents identified as white (77 percent reported as white alone, not Hispanic or Latino).

While Oregon's prison population was still overwhelmingly white, its demographics skewed slightly more diverse.

The Oregon Department of Corrections releases a biannual inmate population profile, and as of July 1, 2015, there were 10,951 whites locked up among the 14,706 inmates statewide, which works out to 74.4 percent of the incarcerated.

According to the DOC:

Black residents made up 2 percent of Oregon's population but represented 9.3 percent of the state's prison population.

Oregon's Asian population was underrepresented in prisons, yielding 1.4 percent of the prison population despite comprising 4.1 percent of the state population.

American Indians made up 1.8 percent of Oregon's residents outside penitentiary walls, but 2.5 percent of the prison population.

Hispanic or Latino persons reported as 12.3 percent of Oregon's residents, and data from the DOC showed they identified in the same proportion.

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The demographic makeup of Oregon's prison population was markedly different than the population of free residents in Oregon, according to the most recent data.
oregon, prison population, resident, demographics
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2016-34-27
Wednesday, 27 Jan 2016 05:34 PM
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