Tags: US State Facts | Voting Rights | prison | population | trends | Maryland

Prison Population Trends in Maryland Since 1994

By    |   Thursday, 03 Mar 2016 03:57 PM

Finding ways to reduce the prison population is a growing concern for Maryland. Like many other states nationwide, the Old Line State has seen a surge in the number of prisoners since 1994, when the national prison population reached 1 million for the first time. Tougher crime laws, stricter sentencing on convictions and longer prison terms have all contributed to the higher numbers behind bars.

Looking at the Numbers

Maryland had incarcerated a total of 20,988 prisoners in 2013, according to a bulletin issued by the Bureau of Justice Statistics. This number represented a 1.4 percent drop from the state's 2012 prison population.

VOTE NOW: Should Convicted Felons Be Allowed to Vote?

The Old Line State demonstrated a much lower incarceration rate than many other states. Maryland incarcerated 353 people per 100,000 residents in 2013. This is 11 percent lower than the national average, according to a National Institute of Corrections report.

Still, Maryland experienced a significant rise in the number of prisoners in recent decades. The state's prison population has tripled since 1980, according to The Baltimore Sun.

Population Growth Factors

Mandatory sentencing for some crimes has played a big role in high prison population numbers in Maryland and elsewhere. The Baltimore Sun reported that approximately 100 people enter Maryland prisons each year as a direct result of mandatory sentencing on non-violent criminal offenses. Each sentence averages about seven years and costs Maryland taxpayers nearly $200,000 for each prisoner.

These costs can add up and boost the overall expenses needed to care for prisoners. In 2010, for example, the Baltimore Sun reported that it cost a total of $783 million for Maryland to house, feed, and care for 22,000 prisoners.

VOTE NOW: Is Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin Doing a Good Job?

Mandatory sentencing has created a strain on prison capacity in Maryland. The state's prison population increased by 1.8 percent in 2010 alone, climbing to 22,645 prisoners, according to a release from the Justice Policy Institute. Maryland’s operational prison capacity for the same year was listed at 23,016 prisoners – meaning the state had reached 99 percent of its operational capacity. This increase came even as the number of people entering Maryland prisons in 2010 decreased by 1.3 percent from the previous year.

© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 
1Like our page
2Share
FastFeatures
Finding ways to reduce the prison population is a growing concern for Maryland. Like many other states nationwide, the Old Line State has seen a surge in the number of prisoners since 1994, when the national prison population reached 1 million for the first time.
prison, population, trends, Maryland
378
2016-57-03
Thursday, 03 Mar 2016 03:57 PM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved