Tags: Voting Rights | incarceration rate | alabama

Rates of Incarceration in Alabama

By    |   Wednesday, 28 Oct 2015 08:14 PM

As Republican governors deal with trimming state spending, one avenue that many legislators are exploring is prison reform due to the exploding prison populations and budgets. Looking at the incarceration rate in Alabama, it's easy to see why Alabama passed recent legislation to deal with prison overcrowding.

According to the National Institute of Corrections in 2013
, Alabama had an incarceration rate that was 64 percent higher than the national average of adults in prison per every 100,000 residents. Alabama’s rate was 647, while the national average was 395.

Here is a little bit more about the rates of incarceration in Alabama:

1. Incarceration Rate Generally on the Rise

According to a report prepared by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the incarceration rate in Alabama has risen by 349 percent between 1978 and 2013. The national average for that same timeframe was 250 percent.

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Alabama’s rate is only topped by Louisiana, Mississippi, and Oklahoma, and represents one of only five states in the union with an incarceration rate higher than 600 adults in prison per every 100,000 residents.

However, the 2014 annual report from the Alabama Department of Corrections shows that the inmate population trend from 2012 to 2013, and from 2013 to 2014, was on the decline. The report indicates that most common conviction for inmates was for possession of a controlled substance.

2. Incarceration Rate Has Strong Correlation to Race

According to the Prison Policy Initiative from the U.S. Census 2010 Summary, the rate of black inmates was three times higher than the number of white inmates incarcerated in all types of correctional facilities within the state. Those facilities include federal and state prisons, local jails, halfway houses, and the like.

The summary reported that 535 out of every 100,000 white residents were incarcerated. Similarly, 767 out of every 100,000 Hispanic residents, and 1,788 out of every 100,000 black residents were incarcerated in one of the types of correctional facilities across the state.

3. Facility Occupancy Rate Exceeds Designed Capacity

According to the 2014 annual report from the Alabama Department of Corrections, the state’s correctional facilities are severely overcrowded.

The overall occupancy rate, expressed as a calculation of the number of inmates divided by the number of designed capacity beds, far exceeds the occupancy rate that each facility was designed for.

The American Legislative Exchange Council reported that Alabama's occupancy rate "is very close to double of the designed capacity of all State owned facilities"

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As Republican governors look to trim state spending, one avenue that many legislators are exploring is prison reform due to exploding prison populations and budgets. Reviewing the incarceration rate in Alabama, it's easy to see why Alabama passed recent legislation to deal with prison overcrowding.
incarceration rate, alabama
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2015-14-28
Wednesday, 28 Oct 2015 08:14 PM
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