Number Of People Serving Time For Drug, Violent, Property, and Other Offenses In US Prisons

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Federal Prisons:
"• Almost half of sentenced federal prisoners on September 30, 2017 (the most recent date for which federal offense data are available) were serving time for drug trafficking (tables 14 and 15).

"• More than a third (38%, or 64,300) of federal prisoners were imprisoned for a public-order offense, including 17% (28,300) for a weapons offense and 7% (11,100) for an adjudicated immigration offense.

"• More than half of female federal prisoners were serving a sentence for drug trafficking, compared to less than half of males."

State Prisons:
"• More than half (55%, or 710,900) of all state prisoners sentenced to more than one year were serving a sentence for a violent offense on their current term of imprisonment at year-end 2016 (the most recent year for which state prison offense-data are available) (tables 12 and 13).

"• At year-end 2016, an estimated 14% of sentenced prisoners (182,400) were serving time in state prison for murder or non-negligent manslaughter, and an additional 13% of state prisoners (164,800) had been sentenced for rape or sexual assault.

"• Among sentenced prisoners under the jurisdiction of state correctional authorities on December 31, 2016, about 15% (190,100 prisoners) had been convicted of a drug offense as their most serious crime."


Jennifer Bronson, PhD, and E. Ann Carson, PhD. Prisoners In 2017. Washington, DC: US Dept of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics, April 2019, NCJ252156, p. 15 (state) and p. 16 (federal).

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