One in 136 Americans were in jail or prison at midyear 2005, including 12 percent of black males aged 25-29, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.
However, the number of individuals incarcerated in New York dropped by 2.5 percent, the third largest decrease in the nation.
It would be interesting to find what role, if any, the widespread adoption of drug courts across New York has played in the state's decreased incarceration rate.
Nationwide, individuals awaiting trial or incarcerated for a year or less represented the largest inmate increase from mid-year 2004. The short-term jail population is one we're very interested in, because we see a community-based sanction as a good alternative to a jail sentence of ten days or less (which was meted out in the Bronx over 3,000 times in 2003). We'll know more about our impact on short-term jail sentences in the weeks ahead.