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Aging of the State Prison Population, 1993-2013

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2016
38 pages
E. Ann Carson; William J. Sabol
Publication Series
Publication Type
Survey, Statistics, Report (Annual/Periodic)
This report presents data on the aging of the State prison population for the period 1993-2013, using data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics' (BJS') National Corrections Reporting Program (NCRP), National Prisoner Statistics (NPS) program, and the 1991 and 2004 Survey of Inmates in State Correctional Facilities (SISCF).
Between 1993 and 2013, the number of State prisoners ages 55 or older increased 400 percent, from 3 percent of the total State prison population in 1993 to 10 percent in 2013. Between 1993 and 2003, the majority of the growth occurred among prisoners ages 40 to 54, and the number of State inmates ages 55 or older increased faster from 2003 to 2013. In 1993, the median age of State prisoners was 30; and by 2013, the median age was 36. This aging of State prisoners between 1993 and 2013 was due to a greater proportion of inmates being sentenced to and serving longer prison terms, predominantly for violent offenses, as well as the increase in admissions of older persons; the number of persons ages 55 or older admitted to State prisons increased 308 percent between 1993 and 2013. During this same period, the prison admissions of persons ages 24 or younger decreased 11 percent. These changing age patterns in the US. State prison population has implications for the resources needed for the management and care of inmates. 32 tables and 17 figures
Date Created: May 19, 2016