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THE NATION'S CORRECTIONAL POPULATION TOPS 5 MILLION

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

ADVANCE FOR RELEASE AT 5 P.M. EDT BJS

SUNDAY, AUGUST 27, 1995 202/307-0784

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- More than 5.1 million Americans-or almost 2.7 percent of the adult population--were under some form of correctional supervision last year, the Department of Justice reported today. Almost three-quarters of these men and women were being supervised in the community on probation or parole. The others were confined in jail or prison.

The number of adults incarcerated or under supervision in the community increased 3.9 percent during 1994. Since 1980 the number has almost tripled, growing at an average annual rate of 7.6 percent.

At the end of last year, 2,962,000 adults were on probation under community supervision rather than incarceration. An additional 690,000 adults were on parole--conditional supervised release after serving a prison term but subject to being returned to incarceration for rule violations or other offenses. Three-quarters of probationers and parolees were required to maintain regular contact with a supervising agency. The other offenders were not required to have regular contact (9 percent) or had failed to report and could not be located (9 percent).

Texas had the largest number of adults on probation and parole with more than 503,000 under such supervision, followed by California with 370,000. At the end of 1994, more than 3.8 percent of all adults in Texas were on probation or parole.

Thirteen states reported that fewer than 1 percent of their adult populations were on probation or parole. North Dakota had the lowest probation and parole supervision rate (450 offenders per 100,000 adults), followed by West Virginia (517), Mississippi (552) and Kentucky (553).

Overall, the state and federal probation and parole populations rose by 2.0 percent during 1994. Six states reported increases of at least 10 percent in their probation populations, and 11 reported similar increases in their parole populations. Alabama, with a 14.5 percent rise in their probation population, and Iowa, with a 27.1 percent rise in the parole population, led the nation.

Twelve states and the Federal probation system reported a decrease in the number of adults on probation, led by South Dakota (down 6.2 percent), California (down 5.8 percent) and the Federal system (down 6.8 percent).

Half of all offenders on probation in 1994 were on probation for a felony. A quarter were on probation for a misdemeanor. One of every seven probationers had been convicted of driving while intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol. Almost all of the offenders on parole (95 percent) had served a felony sentence in jail or prison.

Approximately, 21 percent of the nation's probationers were women, as were 10 percent of the parolees.

About 58 percent of the adults on probation were white, and 45 percent were black. Ninety percent of adults on parole were men. Fifty-one percent of adults on parole were white, 45 percent were black.

These data were collected and analyzed by Darrell Gilliard and Allen Beck, statisticians at the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). The NCJ number is NCJ-156432. Additional information about Department of Justice Statistics may be obtained from the BJS Clearinghouse, Box 179, Annapolis Junction, Maryland 20701- 1079. The telephone number is 1-800/732-3277. Fax orders to 410/792-4358.

Data from tables and graphs used in many BJS reports can be obtained in spreadsheet files on 5 and 3 inch diskettes by calling 202/616-3283.

After hours contact: Doug Johnson at 703/644-0450


 

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