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The Nation

The federal and state prison population grew by 4% in the first six months of 1988 to a record 604,824 inmates, with female prisoners increasing at a far higher rate than males, the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics said. The Justice Department agency said the six-month increase of 23,240 prisoners would require adding 900 new prison beds every week. Lawrence Greenfeld, bureau director of correctional statistics, attributed the increase partly to stricter parole supervision, with a higher number of parole violators being returned to prison, and a wider use of mandatory minimum sentences for repeat drug offenses and other serious crimes. California, which added 5,146 inmates for a 7.7% increase during that period, accounted for 22% of the nationwide growth in the prison population and housed nearly 12% of all federal and state prisoners, the report said.


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