Prison Population High in Alabama

Montgomery, AL – Alabama has the nation's fifth-highest rate of prisoners as a total percentage of its population. The U-S Department of Justice has released a survey of prison and jail inmates. Alabama has 612 inmates per 100-thousand residents. That ranks behind only Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi and Oklahoma. Nationally, America's inmate population grew by nearly three percent last year with one of every 75 men living in a prison or jail. Alabama's prisons experienced a three-point-four percent increase from mid-2002 to mid-2003. Mike Haley, a former corrections commissioner for the state, blames what he calls harsh sentencing laws and a lack of available options for community corrections.