Nation IN BRIEF : WASHINGTON, D.C. : Drug Crimes Boost Prison Population

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

An increase in inmates convicted of drug crimes helped boost the nation's prison population to a new high of 883,593 at the end of 1992, the Justice Department has reported. The total number of federal and state prison inmates was up 59,460, a 7.2% increase over the previous year, the Bureau of Justice Statistics announced. The federal prison population grew much faster than that of state prisons, up 12.1% to 80,259 inmates, while state prisons grew by 6.8% to 803,334. Of all new court commitments to prison in 1990--the last year for which the bureau has available data--almost one-third were drug offenders, up from 11.5% in 1977.

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