In comparison, despite the 2020 population decline, California's system remains 3 percent over design capacity, with 10 California prisons more than 20 percent over capacity. San Quentin and Alcatraz remain particularly crowded. The number of people serving time in California's prison system has declined since 2004, but the state still locks up more inmates per capita than any other country in the world.
The United States holds about 5% of the world's population but 25% of its prisoners.
California's prison system was already close to full when it started receiving high-security detainees from federal facilities under a 1997 agreement intended to reduce overcrowding. Since then, several other states have also signed on to take custody of federal inmates.
The practice has been criticized for moving low-level offenders out of the community to serve their sentences in remote locations where there is not enough staff or resources to care for them. Some have argued that this arrangement benefits the government because it saves money by reducing the need for additional guards and facilities. However many social scientists have also pointed out that sending people away from their family and friends can have a severely negative impact on their chances of being reintegrated into society once they are released.
Prison systems around the country are facing similar issues.
California state prisons contained 33% more convicts than they were meant to hold in January 2020, with 122,000 individuals. By December, there were just 94,500 people in prison, a decline of 27,500. California's population has increased since then, so the percentage of people in prison is actually higher now than it was then.
Federal prisons held 1.5 million people in 2010. The federal system's capacity is about 2.4 million. There are currently about 200,000 people in federal custody, which is near capacity.
There are approximately 2.3 million people in jail worldwide, with nearly a quarter of them in China. The United States has the largest inmate population, at 7 million people, or 13 percent of the world total.
Each year, hundreds of thousands of people are arrested for minor offenses that typically lead to pretrial detention. In some states, such as Florida and Texas, over 40 percent of those arrested for felonies are released without being charged. Others, such as Washington State and Oregon, have release rates under 10 percent.
The number of people incarcerated in the United States has increased by 700,000 since 1990. Black men make up 69% of all drug offenders but only 42% of the general population. They are also significantly overrepresented among those imprisoned for drug related charges.
115,000 detainees Since 2017, California's institutional prison population has remained at 115,000 inmates, barely below the Supreme Court-mandated objective of 137.5 percent of design capacity, or the number of convicts the system was designed to house. However, 13 of the 35 state-owned plants run at or over capacity. The situation is worse at the county level: 60 of 102 jails report double-digit inmate populations.
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation estimates that about 40 percent of the state's estimated 115,000 prisoners are held in facilities that are not rated "safe" by the federal government. These include all private prisons and juvenile halls.
California has one of the highest rates of incarceration in the country. In 2016, it ranked first on the Prison Policy Institute's list of "Highest Rates of Incarceration."
In addition to being home to several major cities including Los Angeles, San Diego, Oakland, and San Francisco, California also houses large numbers of inmates in facilities located in Bakersfield, Corcoran, El Centro, Imperial County, Indio, Leavenworth, Merced, Mexicali, Niland, Norco, Ojai, Paramount, Rialto, Sacramento, San Bernardino, Santa Ana, Ventura, and West Valley City.
Almost half (46%) of California's female inmates are confined in facilities that are not rated "safe" by the federal government.
Since 2009, the state has been required by a court order to keep jail overcrowding to no more than 137.5 percent of total design capacity. Race.
According to a report issued in 2012 by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, more than 65 percent of inmates released from the state's prison system return within three years. The report also found that nearly 40 percent of released inmates were arrested again within five years.
Rehabilitated means restored to a condition of usefulness or prosperity. The term is generally used in relation to individuals who have been convicted of crimes and sentenced to imprisonment. However, it can also be applied to corporations or other organizations which have violated laws and are undergoing rehabilitation programs designed to change their behavior for the better.
The majority of prisoners (about six out of ten) are estimated to be rehabilitated upon release. However, about two out of every hundred former inmates will be rearrested within five years of their release from prison, and just under one out of every hundred will be re-incarcerated after ten years.
About half of all prisoners released nationwide are expected to be back in jail or prison within three years, with rates higher for people of color. If you're considering releasing an inmate into your community, please refer to our guide on how to do it safely.