Oregon Projects Population Growth in 2012

SALEM, Ore. — Oregon’s 14,000-inmate prison population will enter a period of significant growth beginning 2012 before leveling off by the end of the decade, according to official projections.

The number of inmates housed under the jurisdiction of the Oregon Department of Corrections is projected to fluctuate around its current level of approximately 14,000 inmates during the next two years, according to the bi-annual report on prison population trends issued by the state’s Office of Economic Analysis.

Currently, the DOC operates 14 prisons with a system-wide budgeted capacity of almost 16,000 beds, according to department figures.
However, entering a period of faster growth at mid-year 2012, the state prison population will increase by approximately 1,000 inmates to reach 15,000 inmates by 2014, according to the report. The projected addition of 1,000 inmates equates to a growth rate of approximately 7 percent over a period of less than two years.

Forecasted to reach 15,000 inmates by 2014, the prison population is projected to increase to 15,500 inmates by mid-2015 before leveling off at approximately 16,000 inmates as the decade comes to a close in 2020, according to the October 2010 forecast.