Characteristics of Inmates - Race, Ethnicity, Age, And Gender
prisoners hispanic african americans
In 2003 some 1.3 million men and 92,785 women were serving sentences in state and federal prisons, according to Paige M. Harrison and Allen J. Beck in Prisoners in 2003 (Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics, November 2004). (See Table 5.1.) Expressed in percentages of total prisoners 35% were non-Hispanic whites, 44% non-Hispanic African-Americans, 19% were Hispanics, and 1.9% were of other races (Asians, American Indians, Alaskan Natives, Native Hawaiians, and other Pacific Islanders). About 93% were men.
Among white prisoners, 8.6% were women, among African-Americans 5.9%, and among Hispanics 6.4%. The age group with the highest number of male prisoners in 2003 was twenty-five to twenty-nine years old (231,400). Women were most numerous in the thirty-five- to thirty-nine-year-old age group across all races. Among men, whites were more numerous in the group aged thirty-five to thirty-nine years (75,400), while African-Americans (111,400) and Hispanics (54,700) were more predominant in the twenty-five- to twenty-nine-year-old age group.
The largest overall number of prisoners were African-Americans. Among men, African-Americans outnumbered whites in every age group except those aged forty-five to fifty-four and fifty-five and older. Among women, whites were more numerous than African-Americans in every age category except those aged eighteen and nineteen.
According to Prisoners in 2003, incarceration rates (measured as the number of prisoners per 100,000 residents of a gender/age group) indicate that, overall, 465 white males aged eighteen and older were in prison per 100,000 resident males of the same age group. For African-Americans this number was 3,405, for Hispanics 1,231. The rates for women were thirty-eight for whites, 185 for African-Americans, and eighty-four for Hispanics. Whites and African-Americans in this context are non-Hispanic. (See Table 5.2.) These data, translated into percentages, indicate that 9.3% of African-American males aged twenty-five to twenty-nine were in prison in 2003 compared to 1.1% of white males in that age range and 2.6% of Hispanic males.
A somewhat expanded data set, prisoners under the jurisdiction of state and federal correctional authorities (a grouping that includes people on probation and parole), shows correctional population trends for men and women since 1995. (See Table 5.3.) These data, reported in Prisoners in 2003, indicate that 1,368,866 men and 101,179 women made up the correctional population in 2003. Men increased 2% from 2002 to 2003 with an annual average rate of 3.3% from 1995 to 2003. The female correctional population increased by 3.6% from 2002 to 2003 and grew 5% on average each year from 1995 to 2003. Numbers for prisoners sentenced to more than one year show that the male correctional population in this category grew 1.9% from 2002 to 2003 while the female population increased by 4.2%. The incarceration rate for men was 789 per 100,000 residents in 1995 and 915 in 2003. The corresponding rate for women was forty-seven in 1995 and sixty-two in 2003.
|Number of sentenced prisoners|
|55 or older||57,700||31,900||17,200||7,200||2,600||1,400||700||300|
|Note: Based on custody counts by race and Hispanic origin from National Prisoner Statistics (NPS-1A) and updated from jurisdiction counts by gender at yearend. Estimates by age were derived from the National Corrections Reporting Program, 2002. Estimates were rounded to the nearest 100.|
|aIncludes American Indians, Alaska Natives, Asians, Native Hawaiians, and other Pacific Islanders.|
|Number of sentenced prisoners per 100,000 residents of each group|
|55 or older||208||141||747||397||8||5||22||16|
|Note: Based on estimates of the U.S. resident population on July 1, 2003, using intercensal estimates for July 1, 2002 (by gender, race, and Hispanic origin) and adjusted to the July 1, 2003, estimates by gender.|
|Includes American Indians, Alaska Natives, Asians, Native Hawaiians, and other Pacific Islanders.|