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According to BOP, its facilities were operating at 35 percent over capacity, and as of January 2011, 94 percent of high security inmates were double bunked. With an increasing inmate population in BOP institutions, officer safety is continuously at risk. To protect officers from a range of threats, BOP has taken steps, such as providing additional equipment to officers to access in an emergency and routinely conducting officer training to enhance on-the-job responsiveness. However, it is difficult for BOP to determine the impact on officer safety of the equipment it provides because it has not used existing information systems to evaluate data for this purpose.
Highlights of GAO-11-410 (PDF)
As of December 31, 2008 –
The highest capacity reported by states in 2008 was 1,275,440 and the lowest capacity was 1,142,129.
State prisons were operating between 97% and 108% of capacity, compared to between 100% and 115% in 2000.
Thirteen states and the federal system operated at more than 100% of their highest capacity, and 19 states operated at between 90% and 99%. Use of private facilities and local jails – Source - Prison Inmates at Midyear 2008 - Statistical Tables