Believe it or not, for the first time 1972, the US prison population is actually getting lower.
According to the New York Times, state prisons held 1.4 million people as of January 1st, almost 6% lower than the year before.
Chalk it up to marijuana reform laws or a massive budget crisis, no one knows if this is a temporary dip or a permanent sea change for a country that’ll throw you in jail for just about anything.
Interestingly, hedge funders like Bill Ackman and Whitney Tilson are probably grunting at these new numbers as both bet on continued prisons growth. More specifically, they’ve bet on a growing private prison industy, so they could be fine, so long as private prisons continue to gain market share.