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State, federal prisons hold record 413,829 inmates

The number of federal and state prisoners grew 4.2 percent during the first six months this year to a record 413,829, according to government figures. In its mid-year report on prison populations, the Justice Department said total inmate populations ranged from a low of 402 in North Dakota to a high of 37,238 in California. California, Texas, New York, and Florida accounted for one-third of all state inmates, the report said.

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The Justice Department said the increased number of inmates was due to new developments in the criminal justice system, including more convictions and harsher penalties. As a result of increasing prison populations, the government said, some state prison systems are as much as 30 percent over capacity.

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