The percentage of Colorado inmates incarcerated in private prisons rose dramatically in 2006, placing second only to Texas, according to recent statistics released from the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS).BJS statistics (PDF) show inmates in privately run state and federal prisons increased by 12.5 percent in Colorado, from 4,039 in 2005 to 4,855 in 2006. Texas was the only state to have a higher growth rate, with 16.9 percent.
Colorado’s private prison population continues to increase steadily. BJS statistics show that number of inmates in privately run prisons has risen from 2,819 in 2004, to 4,855 in 2006, while the total inmate population in Colorado has grown from 20,293 in 2004 to 22,481 in 2006. In 2004, the BJS reported that 13.9 percent of the state’s inmates resided in privately run facilities. In 2005, the number grew to 18.8 percent, and the 2006, the number was 21.6 percent.
The private prison population also grew 5.4 percent nationally, according to the BJS report.