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A look into America’s prison system has wielded an interesting find. For the first time in over forty years, the United States Penal System has seen its prison population decrease, reversing a trend of unparalleled growth seen through the last several decades.

Nearly 739,000  men and women were imprisoned last year while an estimated 3,500 people released during the same period. Those numbers amount to an 0.8 percent annual growth in national prison population averages, significantly less than the 6.5 percent seen in the 90’s.

Still, that number does not come close to the averages seen during “draft time” numbers, which were low due predominantly to the fact that young men were off dying in foreign lands against their will instead of committing crime and possibly dying in a filthy hovel that prison officials pass off as worthy domiciles.