Mar 13, 2024 - News

Prison population's growth

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, Axios' Alex Fitzpatrick and Kavya Beheraj report from the latest U.S. Department of Justice data.

  • Meanwhile, it fell nearly 20% between the peak year of 2010 and 2022.

Why it matters: Prison numbers are an indicator of 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 number of incarcerated people has implications for census counting and political clout.
Data: Bureau of Justice Statistics; Map: Kavya Beheraj/Axios
Data: Bureau of Justice Statistics; Map: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

By the numbers: 139,631 people were in state or federal prisons in Texas in 2022, per the DOJ's data, compared with 173,649 in the peak year of 2010.

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

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