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Photo: Lane Turner/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

In the past decade, prison and jail incarceration rates fell by more than 10%, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Why it matters: Following decades of a rapidly growing prison population, the share of the American population in prison is the lowest it has been in more than 20 years. But the U.S. still has the largest incarcerated population in the world.

This comes as many cities and states have enacted various criminal justice reform measures to combat mass incarceration. Even Congress passed a bill that eased certain sentencing guidelines and instituted new rehabilitation programs in federal prisons.

By the numbers:

  • Longer sentences: The incarceration rate for people sentenced to more than a year in state or federal prison fell by 13% in the past decade.
  • Immigrants: As the Trump administration attempts to draw attention to unauthorized immigrants who have committed crimes in the U.S., the BJS found that the population of non-citizens in prison was proportional to their share of the overall population.
  • Race: The imprisonment rate for sentenced black Americans fell by 31% over the 10 years — the largest decrease of any racial or ethnic group. But black men still had twice as high an imprisonment rate as Hispanic men and 6 times that of white men.
    • The share of white people in jails rose from 44% to 50% between 2005 and 2017; but the jail incarceration rate for black Americans was still more than 3 times the rate for whites and Hispanics.
  • Pre-sentencing: Almost two-thirds of people in jail in 2017 had not yet been convicted of a crime.

Go deeper

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Inhofe loudly sets Trump straight on defense bill

Sen. Jim Inhofe speaks with reporters in the Capitol last month. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Senator Jim Inhofe told President Trump today he'll likely fail to get two big wishes in pending defense spending legislation, bellowing into his cellphone: "This is the only chance to get our bill passed," a source who overheard part of their conversation tells Axios.

Why it matters: Republicans are ready to test whether Trump's threats of vetoing the bill, which has passed every year for more than half a century, are empty.

Conspiracy theories blow back on Trump's White House

Sidney Powell. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

President Trump has rarely met a conspiracy theory he doesn't like, but he and other Republicans now worry the wild tales told by lawyers Sidney Powell and Lin Wood may cost them in Georgia's Senate special elections.

Why it matters: The two are telling Georgians not to vote for Republicans David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler because of a bizarre, baseless and potentially self-defeating theory: It's not worth voting because the Chinese Communist Party has rigged the voting machines.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Bolton lauds Barr for standing up to Trump

John Bolton. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

John Bolton says Attorney General Bill Barr has done more to undercut President Trump's baseless assertions about Democrats stealing the election than most Senate Republicans by saying publicly that the Justice Department has yet to see widespread fraud that could change the election's outcome.

What he's saying: “He stood up and did the right thing," Bolton said in a Wednesday phone interview.