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Correctional Populations in the United States, 2017-2018

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 2020
17 pages
Laura M. Maruschak; Todd D. Minton
Publication Series
Publication Type
Survey, Statistics, Report (Technical Assistance), Report (Annual/Periodic)
This report summarizes data from several Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) collections on populations that were supervised by adult correctional systems in the United States between 2017 and the end of 2018.
The data reported are from various BJS data collections. Each collection relies on the voluntary participation of federal, state, and local respondents. The features of each of these data collections are briefly described in this report. This report estimates that 6,410,000 persons were held in prisons or jails or were on probation or parole in 2018, which marked a 19-year low in the number of persons under the supervision of U.S. adult correctional systems. The number of adults under correctional supervision per 100,000 adult U.S. residents decreased 21 percent from 2008 to 2018, from 3,160 to 2,510 per 100,000 adult U.S. residents. The percentage of adult U.S. residents under correctional supervision was lower in 2018 than at any time since 1992. The adult incarceration rate (adults in prison or jail per 100,000 adult U.S. residents) has declined every year since 2008, and the rate in 2018 was the lowest since 1996. The proportion of adult U.S. residents in prisons or jails fell 17 percent from 2008 to 2018. The correctional population declined 2.1 percent from 2017 to 2018, due to decreases in both the community supervision (down 2.4 percent) and incarcerated (down 1.4 percent) populations. The population under community supervision fell from 4,508,900 in 2017 to 4,399,000 in 2018. The incarcerated population decreased from 2,153,600 in 2017 to 2,123,100 in 2018. 10 tables and 1 figure
Date Created: August 27, 2020