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The Nation

December 14, 1987

One out of every 55 American adults--a record 3.2 million people--was on probation, parole or behind bars at the end of last year, the government reported. The number of criminals out of jail and under community supervision was rising more rapidly than the number of people serving time in local jails and prisons, the Bureau of Justice Statistics said in its report. The bureau said that from 1983 through 1986, there was a 32% increase, to 2.1 million, in the number of probationers 18 years and older. Parolees rose by one-third, to 327,000. The number of inmates in prison as of a year ago was 547,000, up 25% from 1983, and there were 273,000 people in local jails, up 23%. The 3.2 million adults in the nation under some form of correctional supervision at the end of 1986 rose 7% from 1985 and was 30% higher than in 1983.

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