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Corrections Reform Isn't Just About Cutting Prison Populations

Population data just released by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) show a continued modest decline in the number of people supervised in U.S. correctional systems, averaging a 1 percent decrease annually from 2007 to 2014. This reduction is somewhat greater than the decline in the prison population for this period, and in large part it reflects changes in the number of people under probation supervision. While in recent years there has been an increasing focus on challenging mass incarceration, […]

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BJS Reports Slight Decrease in Correctional Population

The total U.S. correctional population—including people serving prison and jail sentences and those on probation and parole—decreased by 0.8 percent (52,200 people) from 2013 to 2014, according to a report released yesterday by the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Researchers attribute the slight drop to a decline in the number of people under community supervision, which has decreased by an average 1.2 percent per year since 2007. But the number of inmates in prisons and jails increased by about 1,900 in […]

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20% Of Inmates Spent Time In Restricted Housing

Almost 20 percent of inmates in federal prisons and 18 percent of inmates in local jails spent time in restrictive housing, such as solitary confinement, in 2011 and 2012, the Bureau of Justice Statistics announced today. A significant portion of the inmates who had been placed in restrictive housing within the last year (nearly 30 percent of the prison inmates and 22 percent of the jail inmates) had symptoms of serious psychological distress. Among inmates who spent time in restrictive […]

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U.S. Overall Prison Population Declines Slightly

The nation’s inmate count declined one percent last year, the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics said today. The federal prison system accounted for about one-third of the decrease, amid a drive to reduce the sentence lengths for some drug offenders. Overall, there were 1,561,500 prisoners at the end of 2014. With approximately 745,000 people also held in local jails as of midyear 2014, the national total behind bars is about 2.3 million—making the U.S. the world leader in incarceration. Many […]

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National Violent Crime Totals Steady Last Year, Survey Finds

The nation’s violent crime rate did not change significantly in 2014 compared with the previous year, the annual federal crime victimization survey found. Property crime, which includes burglary, theft, and motor vehicle theft, dropped from 131.4 victimizations per 1,000 households to 118.1 per 1,000, largely because of a decline in theft. The report is based on a survey of households and differs from compilations issued by the FBI, which are based on reports to police departments. Many big cities have […]

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BJS Releases New Tool for Measuring Prison, Jail Population Trends

Prison population counts and other data for correctional facilities are now easily accessible online via a new feature on the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) website. The Key Statistics data analysis tool released yesterday will provide access to trend data from BJS's core collections on U.S. correctional facilities including statistics on offenders held in state prisons, federal prisons, and local jails, and those supervised in the community through probation or parole agencies. Trend data on executions are also included. Each […]

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Tracking Tribal Jail Populations

Crime on American Indian reservations decreased in 2013, according to a new report from the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). The annual report tracks the number of inmates in tribal jails, as well as the number of American Indians and Alaska Natives incarcerated in jails nationally. A total of 2,287 inmates were confined in the 79 tribal facilities that reported to BJS, according to the report, a 3.3 percent drop from the year before. About 10,400 American Indian and […]

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Report: Kids Do Most of Their Fighting at School

School-aged children were more likely to face nonfatal violence at school than away from school in 2013, according to a new report by the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics. The annual report includes data on school crime and safety drawn from several national surveys. The rate of violent victimization at school (37 per 1,000 students) far outpaced that of violent victimization away from school (15 per 1,000 students), according to the report. “This difference was driven primarily by higher rates […]

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BJS: Most Police Departments Using Cameras

About one-third of all local police departments used body-worn cameras for at least some officers in 2013, according to a survey by the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). The 2013 survey was the edition of the BJS Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics survey was the first time the agency asked about body-worn cameras, so there is no indication of how those results compare to previous years. Current figures may actually be much higher, because in the time since […]

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BJS: Jail Populations Shrinking

Local jail populations continued their decline during the first half of 2014, according to an annual report by the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics. There was an estimated 744,600 inmates in city and county jails at midyear 2014, according to the report, down about five percent from the peak year of 2008. About 6 in 10 inmates were not convicted, but were in jail awaiting court action, “a rate unchanged since 2005,” the report notes. The report notes that the […]