Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Ryan, a student:

Last monday, the county jail had 200 prisoners.  Of these, 130 were accused of felonies, and 121 were accused of misdemeanors.  How many prisoners were accused of both a felony and a misdemeanor?

Hi Ryan.

You have to assume that every prisoner is accused of either a felony or a misdemeanor or both (otherwise, why is he or she imprisoned?)

So start counting:

The first 130 are accused of felonies, so the next 70 must be accused of misdemeanors. That leaves 121 - 70 = 51 misdemeanor suspects unaccounted for. So these must also be felony suspects.

Stephen La Rocque. >

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