The nation’s population of probationers and parolees decreased 1.3 percent last year to about 4,650,900 adults, says the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics in a new report. That means one in every 53 U.S. adults was under “community supervision” at the end of 2015. The decline was due to a drop in the probation population, which is more than 80 percent of the total. There was a 1.5 percent increase in the parolee count.
Over the last decade, the number of probationers has declined from about 4.1 million to 3.8 million, while the number of parolees has increased from 784,400 to 870,500. The number under supervision dwarfs the total behind bars in prison or jails, which was more than 2.2 million in 2014; BJS has not released the 2015 numbers yet. Of the total on probation last year, 75 percent were men, 55 percent were white, 30 percent black, and 13 percent Hispanic. Among offenses, 20 percent were on probation for a violent crime, 28 percent for a property crime, 25 percent for a drug crime, and 15 percent for a public order violation, including driving while intoxicated.