Number of Adults Under Correctional Supervision in the US

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"The decline in the U.S. correctional population from January 1, 2016 (6,676,200 persons), to December 31, 2016 (6,613,500), continued a downward trend that began in 2008 (table 1). Persons supervised in the community on either probation (3,673,100 persons) or parole (874,800) continued to account for the majority of the U.S. correctional population at year-end 2016. Nearly 7 in 10 persons under correctional supervision were supervised in the community (4,537,100) on December 31, 2016, and 3 in 10 (2,162,400) were incarcerated in state or federal prisons or local jails.1

"The 0.9% decrease in the correctional population from January 1, 2016, to December 31, 2016, was due to a 1.1% decline in the number of persons supervised in the community and a 0.5% decline in the incarcerated population. The decrease in the community supervision population during 2016 accounted for nearly 80% of the decline in the total correctional population. The number of persons under supervision in the community decreased by 49,800 from January 1, 2016, to December 31, 2016, to 4,537,100. During 2016, the probation population decreased by 1.4%, while the parole population increased by 0.5%, resulting in an overall decline in the community supervision population. From 2007 to 2016, the community supervision population decreased by an annual average of 1.3%. At year-end 2016, the number of persons under community supervision was the lowest observed since 1999 (4,485,300) (not shown).

"On December 31, 2016, an estimated 2,162,400 persons were either under the jurisdiction of state or federal prisons or in the custody of local jails—10,400 fewer persons than in 2015. By year-end 2016, the number of persons incarcerated in state or federal prisons or local jails fell to the lowest level observed since 2004 (2,136,600) (not shown).

"During 2016, the prison population decreased 1.4%, while the jail population remained relatively stable. The U.S. prison population on December 31, 2016 (1,505,400), was at its lowest level since 2004 (1,497,100) (not shown). The total incarcerated population in 2016 was 0.5% lower than in 2015."

Source: 

Danielle Kaeble and Mary Cowhig, "Correctional Populations in the United States, 2016," (Washington, DC: US Dept. of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics, April 2018), NCJ250374, pp. 2-3.
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