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Probation and Parole in 1999

EMBARGOED UNTIL 4:30 P.M. EDT                            BJS
SUNDAY, JULY 23,  2000                          202/307-0784 


     WASHINGTON, D.C.   The number of adult men and women
under the supervision of Federal, state and local
correctional authorities rose to a record 6.3 million in
1999, the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics
(BJS) announced today.  This number, which represents 3.1
percent of all adult residents in the United States, or one
in every 32 adults, includes persons incarcerated in jails
and prisons and those supervised in the community under
probation or parole.  
      During 1999, the correctional  population increased
by 164,400 (2.7 percent).  At mid-year 1999, there were
approximately 1,254,600 adults in federal or state prisons
and 596,500 adults in local jails.  The 1990-1999 increase
averaged 4.2 percent annually, and was a 44.6 percent gain
for the nine-year period.  There were 1.9 million more under
correctional supervision in 1999 than in 1990. 
     At the end of 1999, there were approximately 3,773,600
adults on probation and  712,700 on parole.  More than 1
million of the nation's probationers and parolees slightly
less than one-quarter of the total were in Texas (556,410)
and California (446,460).   From 1990 through 1999 the
percentage of the total correctional population under
community supervision declined from 74 percent to 71
     States with the largest percentage of their adult
population under community supervision were Georgia (5.8
percent) and Idaho (4.2 percent), and rates exceeding 3
percent were also found in Texas (3.9 percent), Delaware
(3.8 percent), Washington (3.7 percent), and Minnesota (3.1
percent).  Nine states had less than one percent of their
population under community supervision. 
     Among probationers, criminal offenders sentenced to a
period of correctional supervision in the community,
slightly more than half (51 percent) had been convicted for
committing a felony, 48 percent for a misdemeanor and 1
percent for other infractions.  Seventy-seven percent of
probationers were being actively supervised at the end of
1999; 10 percent were inactive cases and 9 percent had
     Probation population gains of 10 percent or more
during 1999 were recorded in Idaho (up 17.7 percent),
Vermont (up 17.1 percent), Arizona (up 11.2 percent) and
Montana (up 10.2 percent).  Eleven states reported a decline
in their probation population, led by West Virginia (down
7.9 percent) and Nevada (down 6.2 percent).
     Parole is a period of conditional supervision
following a prison term, and almost all parolees had been
convicted of a felony (97 percent).  Mandatory release from
prison because of a sentencing statute or good-time
provisions accounted for one-half of the persons entering
parole during 1999; 42 percent entered parole because of a
parole board decision, 6 percent were reinstatements and 2
percent were other actions.   
     California had the largest number of persons in the
nation under parole supervision (114,046), surpassing Texas
(109,310).  Eight states reported a 10 percent or greater
increase in their parole population during 1999, led by Ohio
(39.6 percent), South Dakota (20.9 percent), West Virginia
(18.8 percent), Louisiana (16.8 percent) and Iowa (14.6
percent).  Twenty-four states reported a decline in their
parole population during 1999 led by Washington (down 46.7
percent), North Carolina (down 24.4 percent), Montana (down
17.7 percent) and Virginia (down 12.5 percent).
     More than 1.9 million probationers and 400,000
parolees were discharged from supervision in 1999.  More
than 60 percent of those exiting probation (1,053,700) and
more than 40 percent of those exiting parole (177,300) had
successfully met the conditions of their supervision. 
During 1999, 14 percent of probationers (244,700) who were
discharged from supervision in 1999 and 42 percent of
parolees leaving supervision (173,800) were incarcerated
because of a rule violation or new offense.
     Women represented a larger percentage of the probation
and parole populations in 1999 than in 1990.  Twenty-two
percent of all probationers in 1999 (up from 18 percent in
1990) and 12 percent of those on parole (up from 8 percent
in 1990) were women.
     Blacks were more than a third of probationers at year-
end 1999 (1,310,000), and nearly half of parolees (312,100). 
Almost two-thirds of probationers (2,394,400) and more than
half of  parolees (390,700) were white.  Persons of other
races accounted for about 2 percent of the probation
population (69,300) and 1 percent of the parole population
(9,900).  Hispanics, who are of any race, comprised 16
percent of probationers (600,200) and 21 percent of parolees
     Data tables, prepared by BJS statisticians Thomas P.
Bonczar and Lauren E. Glaze, as well as other information
about the nation's correctional populations may be obtained
from the BJS Internet site under press releases at:
     Additional criminal justice materials can be obtained
from the Office of Justice Programs Website at:
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BJS00174 (N)
After hours contact: Stu Smith at 301/983-9354
Date Published: July 23, 2000