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Probation and Parole in the United States, 2001

SUNDAY, AUGUST 25, 2002 202/307-0784


One in 32 Adult Residents Incarcerated or Under Community Supervision

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The adult U.S. correctional population reached a record of almost 6.6 million men and women at the end of 2001, the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. This was an increase of 147,700 people from December 31, 2000.

At the end of last year about 3.1 percent of the nation's adult population, or 1 in every 32 adult residents, were on probation or parole or were held in a prison or jail. The adult probation population grew 2.8 percent during 2001, an increase of 106,542 probationers. The nation's parole population grew by 1.0 percent in 2001, or by 7,249 men and women.

Adults under federal, state or local correctional authority in the community, on probation or parole, or incarcerated in jail or prison in 1990, 1995, 2000 and 2001:

  Total Pop. Probation Parole Jail* Prison
1990 4,350,300 2,670,234 531,407 405,320    743,382
1995 5,342,900 3,077,861 679,421 507,044 1,078,542
2000 6,445,100 3,826,209 723,898 621,149 1,316,333
2001 6,592,800 3,932,751 731,147 631,240 1,330,980
* Data are for December 31 of each year except jail counts,
which are for June 30.

Approximately 3 in 4 probationers were under active supervision and were required to regularly report to a probation authority in person, by mail or by telephone. An estimated 53 percent of all probationers had been convicted of a felony, 45 percent of a misdemeanor and 1 percent of other infractions, according to a BJS probation and parole bulletin. Approximately 25 percent were on probation for a drug law violation and 18 percent for driving while intoxicated.

Of the almost 2 million adults discharged from probation in 2001, more than three out of five successfully met supervision conditions. About 13 percent were reincarcerated because of a violation of parole conditions or a new criminal offense.

Of the more than 464,500 parolees discharged from parole supervision last year, 46 percent had successfully met the conditions of their supervision, 40 percent were returned to incarceration because of a rule violation or a new offense and 9 percent had absconded. Two percent failed to successfully meet their supervision requirements but were discharged without additional incarceration.

Women were 22 percent of the adults on probation during 2001 (870,000 females) - up from 18 percent in 1990. As of the end of last year, 2,175,600 probationers were white, 1,228,700 were black, 469,800 were Hispanic and 58,600 were of other races or ethnic backgrounds.

Among parolees, about 1 in every 8 (or 12 percent) during 2001 were women - up from 8 percent in 1990. The bulletin, "Probation and Parole in the United States, 2001" (NCJ-195669), was written by BJS statistician Lauren E. Glaze. Single copies may be obtained by calling the BJS Clearinghouse at 1-800-851-3420. In addition, this document can be accessed at:


For further information about the Bureau of Justice Statistics and other OJP programs, please see the OJP website at: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov

Media calls should be directed to Stu Smith in OJP's Office of Congressional and Public Affairs at [email protected] or 202-307-0784. After hours: 301-983-9354.

Date Published: August 25, 2002