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Bureau of Justice Statistics

The number of prisoners in state and federal correctional facilities fell by 1 percent from 2015 to 2016, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics report, Prisoners in 2016. It was the third consecutive year that the U.S. prison population declined.

State and federal prisons held an estimated 1,505,400 prisoners in 2016, 21,200 fewer than in 2015. The population of the Federal Bureau of Prisons accounted for 34 percent of the total change in the prison population, dropping by 7,300 prisoners to 189,200 prisoners. Although the overall prison population decreased, the number of prisoners held in private facilities increased 2 percent in 2016.

State and federal prisons admitted 2,300 fewer prisoners in 2016 than in 2015. The BOP accounted for the majority (96 percent) of the decline, down 2,200 admissions.

More than half (54 percent) of state prisoners were serving sentences for violent offenses at year-end 2015, the most recent year for which data were available. Nearly half (47 percent) of federal prisoners had been sentenced for drug offenses as of Sept. 30, 2016, the most recent date for which federal offense data were available. More than 99 percent of those drug sentences were for trafficking.

 

To read the report, click here.

About The Author

The Justice Technology Information Center is a component of the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center System, a program of the National Institute of Justice. JTIC serves as an information resource for technology and equipment related to law enforcement, corrections and courts, and hosts the NIJ Compliance Testing Program, a voluntary equipment standards and testing program for ballistic- and stab-resistant body armor and other officer safety equipment, which conducts equipment testing, reviews and analyzes testing data and disseminates results.

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