"County and city jails in the United States held 738,400 inmates at midyear 2018 (table 1), a decline of 6% from 785,500 inmates held in 2008. The midyear population remained relatively stable from 2011 to 2018. At midyear 2018, about one-third of jail inmates (248,500) were sentenced or awaiting sentencing on a conviction, while about two-thirds (490,000) were awaiting court action on a current charge or were held for other reasons.
"The increase in U.S. incarceration rates means that a sizable number of children experience parental incarceration. Between 5 million and 8 million children have had a resident parent (most often a father) incarcerated in jail, state prison, or federal prison, and this number excludes children with parents under other forms of correctional supervision such as probation or parole (Murphey & Cooper, 2015). A growing research literature conceptualizes parental incarceration as an adverse childhood experience (ACE) with considerable deleterious consequences for children's wellbeing (U.S.
"Although no amount of policy analysis can resolve disagreements about how much punishment drug offenses deserve, research does make clear that some strategies for reducing drug use and crime are more effective than others and that imprisonment ranks near the bottom of that list. And surveys have found strong public support for changing how states and the federal government respond to drug crimes.
"There were 431 prisoners sentenced to more than one year in state or federal prison per 100,000 U.S. residents at year-end 2018, a decrease from 441 per 100,000 at year-end 2017 (table 5). Te state imprisonment rate was 381 sentenced prisoners per 100,000 U.S. residents of all ages, and the federal rate was 50 per 100,000.
"On December 31, 2018, an estimated 2,123,100 persons were either under the jurisdiction of state or federal prisons or in the custody of local jails, which was 30,500 fewer persons than in 2017. By year-end 2018, the number of persons incarcerated in state or federal prisons or local jails fell to the lowest level since 2003, when 2,086,500 persons were incarcerated (not shown in tables).
Demographic characteristics among sentenced prisoners
" At year-end 2019, an estimated 47% of sentenced prisoners in the U.S. were ages 25 to 39 (table 9).
" While almost 22% of all sentenced male prisoners were age 50 or older at year-end 2019, the percentage differed across race or ethnicity, with 28% of white, 20% of black, and 16% of Hispanic sentenced male prisoners in this age group.
" At year-end 2019, 3.2% of male prisoners and 1.6% of female prisoners sentenced to more than one year in state or federal prison were age 65 or older.
"At year-end 2016, the jail incarceration rate was 217 inmates per 100,000 U.S. residents, which was similar to the rate of 215 per 100,000 at year-end 2015 (table 2). The incarceration rate for adults age 18 or older was 280 per 100,000 U.S. residents age 18 or older at year-end 2016. Males (377 per 100,000 male U.S. residents) were incarcerated at a rate six times that of females (62 per 100,000 female U.S. residents).
"At year-end 2019, an estimated 1,430,800 prisoners were under state or federal jurisdiction, a decrease of 2% from the 1,464,400 prisoners in 2018 and 11% from the peak of 1,615,500 prisoners in 2009 (table 1). About 88% of all prisoners were under state jurisdiction and 12% were under BOP jurisdiction in 2019, with state prisoners accounting for 86% of the decline in the total prison population from 2018 (not shown in tables).
"Since peaking at 3,210 offenders per 100,000 U.S. residents age 18 or older in 2007 (not shown in tables), the correctional-supervision rate has trended downward, falling to 2,510 per 100,000 at year-end 2018 (table 4). Changes in both the correctional population and the U.S. population affected the rate. More than half (58%) of the decrease in the correctional-supervision rate from 2008 to 2018 was attributed to the decrease in the number of offenders under correctional supervision.
" Almost half of prisoners sentenced to federal prison were serving time for a drug offense (almost all for drug trafficking) on September 30, 2018, the most recent date for which data are available (tables 15 and 16).
" About two-fifths of federal prisoners in 2018 were in prison for a public-order offense (39%, or 63,600), including 18% (28,800) for a weapons offense and 6% (9,200) for a convicted immigration offense.