The Prison Population Shrinks

Ever so slightly:

[R]eleases from prison exceeded admissions in 2010 for the first time since 1977. This means that many prisons are not operating at full capacity. Twenty-eight states are operating at or below their highest capacity. Mississippi, for instance, operated at 46% above its top capacity in 2010. The same holds true at federal prisons where are operating at 36% of its highest reported capacity. It is not all good news. Black men still have a horrifically high imprisonment rate—nearly seven times higher than while males. But this is an encouraging first step on a very long march.