States with Greatest Prison Growth

"Figure 6 lists the top 10 states ranked from the highest growth to the lowest growth. They are Texas, Florida, California, New York, Michigan, Georgia, Illinois, Ohio, Colorado, and Missouri. The magnitude of prison growth in these 10 states is remarkable. Between 1979 and 2000, the number of additional prisons ranged from 19 prisons in Missouri to 120 prisons in Texas. The growth in Texas equates to an extraordinary average annual increase of 5.7 additional prisons per year over the 21-year period. As a group, the 10 states were operating more than three times as many prisons in 2000 as in 1979—increasing from 195 facilities to 604 facilities. Figure 6 shows the relative growth in each state in addition to the absolute growth. In all 10 states, the number of prisons increased by more than 100 percent over the two decades. States with the lowest relative growth are Florida, which grew by 115 percent, and New York, which grew by 117 percent. Texas is again the clear leader growing by 706 percent over the 21-year period. Indeed, Texas is in a league of its own, as it added the most prisons (120), currently has the largest number of prisons in operation (137), and experienced the largest percentage increase (706 percent)."


Lawrence, Sarah and Jeremy Travis, "The New Landscape of Imprisonment: Mapping America's Prison Expansion" (Washington, DC: Urban Institute, April 2004), p. 9.