Tags: Voting Rights | oregon | prison population | trends

Prison Population Trends in Oregon Since 1994

By    |   Thursday, 21 Jan 2016 07:45 PM

Oregon's population has grown in the last 20 years, and its prison population has grown as well. The two trends, however, do not mirror each other.

Historical data from the Oregon Department of Corrections showed
that in 1994 there were 6,545 prisoners in Oregon state prisons, and that by March of 2015 the number had mushroomed all the way to 14,584. That prison population trend represented a 122.8 percent increase in the number of people incarcerated in Oregon.

A major change in the state's prison population since 1994 had been the increase in the number of women in incarceration. Using the same data from the Oregon DOC, the number of women in prison in January of 1994 was 335 but jumped all the way to 1,266 by March 2015. That 277.9 percent increase dwarfs the growth trend for incarcerated men.

A graph featured in the "Historical Prison and Community Corrections Populations" document showed how the state's prison population has changed since 1980.

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Starting in 1994, the state went on an incarceration binge, exhibited by a very steep increase in the number of prisoners. The graph took a dive around 1997 for about a year but then once again went up steadily from about 1998 to 2005. Though there were still increases after 2005, the upward trend was flatter than earlier increases.

In terms of gender, males and females seemed to increase at relatively similar rates from 1994 until around 2012, when the male rate made a big vertical jump while the female population continued its steady climb.

The number of prisoners on probation remained static at the level it was in 1994, but there has been a gradual increase in the number of prisoners on parole or supervised release.

The Oregon Office of Economic Analysis's Department of Administrative Services created a report in December 2012 titled "Oregon's Demographic Trends," which showed the life expectancy in the state had increased.

According to the report, in 1990 men were expected to live 73.4 years. By 2000 that age was 75.7, and in 2010 it was up to 77.1.

For women, the life expectancy was the 79.8 years in 1990, 80.2 in 2000, and 81.7 in 2010.

The report stated that life expectancy would continue to improve for the prison population, especially for men, whose numbers dominated the prison system, so an increase in older inmates in the system would be expected.

Another change was the influx of Latinos. The OEA reported that the Hispanic population in Oregon grew by 144 percent from 1990 to 2000, and 64 percent from 2000 to 2010. Within the prison system, 9.8 percent of prisoners, as of January 2006, were of Hispanic origin. By July 2015, that percentage jumped to 12.2 percent.

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Oregon's population has grown in the last 20 years and its prison population has grown as well. The two trends, however, do not mirror each other.
oregon, prison population, trends
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2016-45-21
Thursday, 21 Jan 2016 07:45 PM
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