Thompson says US prison population is 'staggeringly high' at about 1.5 million, despite 2% drop for 2015
"Jail Break: U.S. Prison Population Sees Small Drop" - Newsweek. 1/3/2017.
Compared to the 200,000 or so Americans imprisoned in 1970, the current prison population is about 7 times larger and, until 2015, continued to grow annually. The Population Studies Center's Heather Ann Thompson says the small 2015 decrease should be kept in perspective: “When you consider how staggeringly high prison populations became—and how quickly they increased—in the 1980s and 1990s, we clearly have much work still to do if we are interested in fully addressing the crisis of mass incarceration.”