Mar 14, 2024 - News

Texas' prison population grew more than any state from 2021-2022

Change in prison populations, 2021 to 2022
Data: Bureau of Justice Statistics; Map: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Texas' prison population grew 4.4% between 2021 and 2022 — adding the most prisoners of any state during that time at 5,900.

Yes, but: It fell nearly 20% between a peak year of 2010 and 2022, according to the latest Justice Department data.

Why it matters: Prison numbers indicate how our society approaches criminal justice.

  • Plus, in Texas, where prisons are generally in rural areas and incarcerated people are often from urban ones, the prison population has implications for Census counting and political clout.

The big picture: Texas' prison population is smaller than only the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

  • In 2022, the state had more total prison admissions (64,000) than all federal penitentiaries nationwide (44,900).

By the numbers: 139,631 people were in state or federal prisons in Texas in 2022, per the latest data.

  • At the peak in 2010, there were 173,649 people incarcerated.
Data: Bureau of Justice Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: Bureau of Justice Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

Between the lines: Between 2021-2022, Texas' female prison population increased about 8% while the male prison population increased 4%.

Zoom out: The U.S. prison population rose 2.1% between 2021 and 2022, marking "the first increase in the combined state and federal prison population in almost a decade," a recent DOJ report found.

  • Florida added the second-most prisoners during that time with 4,300, and Mississippi was third with 2,500.
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