Immigrants are less likely than American citizens to be convicted of crimes committed in the United States. Nevertheless, the total immigrant population, including both those with documented and undocumented status, is now so large that the number of immigrants in American prisons and jails is very significant. At the same time, many state prisons and local jail systems have experienced overcrowding so severe that the United States. Supreme Court, some lower federal courts, and many state courts have found the resulting conditions of incarceration unconstitutional. These judges have sought to remedy the overcrowding by ordering that prison populations be reduced by thousands of inmates-approximately 40,000 in California alone. As we shall see, California is not even close to meeting this target, and presumably the same is true of other states under court order
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