Alabama's prison system is woefully overcrowded, holding more than 31,000 inmates. (The system is only designed to house 14,000.) Investigations of sexual harassment have garnered headlines at Tutwiler Prison, which houses the state's female inmates. And now a report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics shows that Alabama remains solidly in the nation's top 10 for sending people to prison.
The bureau's data ranked Alabama third nationally, behind Louisiana and Mississippi, for sending the most people per capita to prison last year. Alabama's ratio was 650 new inmates per 100,000 residents in 2012; Louisiana's ratio was 893 per 100,000 residents.
The bureau's report is laden with data; here are a few more pertinent points:
- The U.S. prison system's total population declined slightly for the third year in a row.
- Nationally, federal prisons' population increased in 2012, state prisons' overall population decreased.
- Alabama is 13th nationally in terms of total number of prisoners.
-- Phillip Tutor