The U.S. federal prison population has been growing steadily for decades, and it now exceeds the capacity of the prison system to properly house and maintain it, according to an updated report from the Congressional Research Service on the Bureau of Prisons [BOP].
“The number of inmates under the BOP’s jurisdiction has increased nearly eight-fold (790%) from approximately 24,600 inmates in FY1980 to nearly 219,300 inmates in FY2013. Since FY1980, the federal prison population has increased, on average, by approximately 5,900 inmates each year,” the report said. “The annual growth in the federal prison population has outstripped the BOP’s prison capacity, resulting in overcrowding in the federal prison system.”
The CRS report identified various options for Congress to address the situation, whether by expanding prison capacity or by reducing the prison population through alternatives to incarceration. See The Bureau of Prisons (BOP): Operations and Budget, March 4, 2014.
Other new and updated CRS reports that Congress has withheld from online public access include the following.
Retirement Benefits for Members of Congress, March 19, 2014
What Is the Farm Bill?, April 7, 2014
The Federal Budget: Overview and Issues for FY2015 and Beyond, April 11, 2014
U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel, April 11, 2014
Brazil: Political and Economic Situation and U.S. Relations, March 27, 2014
Bee Health: Background and Issues for Congress, April 9, 2014
The Distribution of Household Income and the Middle Class, March 10, 2014