Number of Inmates in Arizona
The number of inmates increased in every year from fiscal year (FY) 1981 through FY 2010, by more than 900 per year in most of those years. In FYs 2011 and 2012, the number of inmates fell slightly and there was hardly any increase in FY 2013. However, the number rose by more than 1,000 in FY 2014.
The increase in the prison population over the three decades from 1980 to 2010 far outpaced the growth in Arizona’s population, with the number of inmates per 1,000 residents rising from 1.3 to 6.4. The large increase was primarily due to the state’s mandatory sentencing laws, the first of which went into effect in the late 1970s. The per capita number of inmates fell to 6.2 in FY 2013 but again began to rise in FY 2014.