A new national study conducted by the Pew Center on the States found that 1 in 32 Alabama adults are under correctional control. Alabama has the sixth highest incarceration rate in the country.
The proportion of Alabamians under correctional control has tripled since 1982, when 1 in 90 adults were in jail or prison or on probation or parole. Of the nearly 109,000 Alabamians under correctional control at the end of 2007, 43% were in prison or jail.
Only Washington, D.C., Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, and Texas incarcerate at a higher rate than Alabama.
Alabama ranks last in the nation on spending for corrections, with only 2.5% of the general fund spent on corrections in fiscal year 2008.
The Pew Center study focuses on the skyrocketing number of people on probation or parole in the United States, which has reached 5 million, up from 1.6 million just 25 years ago. While 1 in 100 U.S. adults are behind bars, 1 in 45 are under criminal justice supervision in the community. Together, that means 1 in every 31 American adults are under some form of correctional control. For men, the figure is 1 in 18.
The price difference between incarceration and community supervision (parole or probation) is substantial: nationwide, the daily cost to imprison someone is more than 20 times higher than to supervise a probationer. In Alabama, the cost of one day of prison ($39.46) equals 18 days of probation or parole.