Almost 7 Million Adults Under Correctional Supervision Behind Bars Or On Probation Or Parole
The number of adults in prison, jail, or on probation or parole reached almost 7 million during 2004, the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) has announced. The number has grown by more than 1.6 million adults under correctional authority control since 1995.
The nation’s total correctional population was 6,996,500 in 2004, of which 4,151,125 were living in the community on probation; 1,421,911 were in a state or federal prison; 765,355 were living in the community on parole; and 713,990 were in jail, according to the BJS report on probation and parole. At year-end one in every 31 adults were under correctional supervision, which was 3.2% of the U.S. adult population.
Probationers are criminal offenders who have been sentenced to a period of conditional supervision in the community, generally in lieu of incarceration. Parolees are criminal offenders supervised conditionally in the community following a prison term.
The study’s other highlights included the following:
–The adult probation population grew 0.2% during 2004. This was the smallest annual growth rate since this survey began in 1979.
–Fifty% of all probationers had been convicted of a misdemeanor, 49% of a felony and 1% of other infractions. Twenty-six% were on probation for a drug law violation, and 15% for driving while intoxicated.
–Four states had an increase of 10% or more in their probation population in 2004: Kentucky (15%), Mississippi (12%), New Mexico (11%) and New Jersey (10%).
–The adult probation population decreased in 21 states. Washington was the only state with a double-digit decrease (down 27%).
–2.2 million adults were discharged from probation supervision during 2004, and 60% successfully met the conditions of their supervision, nearly unchanged since 1995.
–The adult parole population grew 20,230 or 2.7% during the year, more than twice the average annual increase of 1.3% since 1995.
–Thirty-nine states had increases in their parole populations in 2004, led by Nebraska (24%), Vermont (16%) and New Mexico (15%).
— Nine states had decreases in their parole populations. Nevada (down 13%) was the only state with a decrease of more than 10%, followed by Virginia (down 9%).
–Mandatory releases from prison as a result of sentencing statutes or good-time provisions comprised 52% of those entering parole in 2004, up from 45% in 1995.
–Overall success rates for parolees have remained nearly the same between 1995 (45%) and 2004 (46%).
The report, “Probation and Parole in the United States, 2004” (NCJ-210676), was written by BJS statisticians Lauren E. Glaze and Seri Palla.