BJS: Bureau of Justice Statistics

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Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
Home  | Data Collection Detail

Data Collection: National Prisoner Statistics (NPS) Program
Status: Active
Frequency: Annually
Latest data available: 2013

Produces annual national and state-level data on the number of prisoners in state and federal prison facilities. Aggregate data are collected on race and sex of prison inmates, inmates held in private facilities and local jails, system capacity, noncitizens, and persons under age 18. Findings are released in the Prisoners series. Data are from the 50 state department of corrections, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and until 2001, from the District of Columbia (after 2001, felons sentenced under the District of Columbia criminal code were housed in federal facilities).

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Data Experts

  • E. Ann Carson, BJS Statistician
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    Collection Period

    Ongoing

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    Questionnaires

    Advance Year-end Counts (NPS-1b -old)
    2004 PDF
    Population Reports Midyear Counts (NPS-1a)
    2010 PDF (78K) | 2009 PDF (80K) | 2008 PDF (69K) | 2007 PDF (103K) | 2006 PDF (72K) | 2005 PDF (68K) | 2004 PDF (47K)
    Summary of Sentenced Population Movement (NPS 1b-new)
    2014 NPS1BT-Form (98K) | 2014 PDF (112K) | 2013 PDF (110K) | 2012 PDF (111K) | 2011 PDF (109K) | 2010 PDF (78K) | 2009 PDF (98K) | 2008 PDF (102K) | 2007 PDF (102K)
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    Methodology

    Collection forms for December 31 are sent to central respondents in each of the 50 state departments of correction for each year. June 30 forms were sent to the central respondents through 2010, when the midyear collection was suspended pending redesign by BJS. Forms were sent to the District of Columbia until 2001, when its prison system ceased operations.  As of December 31, 2001, sentenced felons from the District of Columbia are the responsibility of the Federal Bureau of Prisons.  Respondents are permitted to update the previous years' data when submitting the current year. Data are submitted online at a secure site.

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    Changes Over Time

    The following categories were added or altered over time: admission and release categories; race and ethnicity categories (1999, 2005), inmates held in local jails due to crowding; inmates held in private facilities, local jails, and in another state (1999); persons 17 or younger held (1998); noncitizens held (1998); and HIV information (1999).

    The Prisoner Population Reports Midyear Counts (NPS-1A) survey was suspended pending redesign.

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    Publications & Products

    The following publications and products were generated by BJS using data from this collection.

    Correctional Populations in the United States, 2013 Presents statistics on offenders supervised by adult correctional systems in the United States at yearend 2013, including offenders supervised in the community on probation or parole and those incarcerated in prison or local jail.
      Press Release | PDF (385K) | ASCII file (23K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 36K)
    Part of the Correctional Populations in the United States Series

    Prisoners in 2013 IN 2013 THE STATE PRISON POPULATION ROSE FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 2009
      Part of the Prisoners Series

    Prisoners in 2013 Presents final counts of prisoners under the jurisdiction of state and federal correctional authorities on December 31, 2013, collected by the National Prisoner Statistics Program.
      Press Release | PDF (2.1M) | ASCII file (80K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 54K)
    Part of the Prisoners Series

    Prisoners Executed Prisoners executed under civil authority in the United States, by year, region, and jurisdiction, 1977-2014.
      Spreadsheet (7K)
    Part of the Capital Punishment Series

    Correctional Populations in the United States, 2012 Summarizes data from various correctional collections to provide statistics on the number of offenders supervised by the adult correctional systems in the U.S. Adult correctional systems include offenders supervised in the community under the authority of probation or parole agencies and inmates held in state and federal prisons or local jails.
      Press Release | PDF (766K) | ASCII file (23K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 15K)
    Part of the Correctional Populations in the United States Series

    Prisoners in 2012: Trends in Admissions and Releases, 1991-2012 (Revised) Presents final counts on prisoners under the jurisdiction of state and federal correctional authorities on December 31, 2012, collected in the National Prisoner Statistics Program.
      Press Release | PDF (2M) | ASCII file (44K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 36K)
    Part of the Prisoners Series

    Prisoners in 2012: Trends in Admissions and Releases, 1991-2012 TOTAL U.S. CORRECTIONAL POPULATION DECLINED IN 2012 FOR FOURTH YEAR
      Press Release
    Part of the Prisoners Series

    Correctional Populations in the United States, 2012 TOTAL U.S. CORRECTIONAL POPULATION DECLINED IN 2012 FOR FOURTH YEAR
      Press Release
    Part of the Correctional Populations in the United States Series

    Prisoners in 2012 - Advance Counts U.S. PRISON POPULATION DECLINED FOR THIRD CONSECUTIVE YEAR DURING 2012
      Press Release
    Part of the Prisoners Series

    Prisoners in 2012 - Advance Counts Presents advance counts of prisoners under the jurisdiction of state and federal correctional authorities on December 31, 2012, collected in the National Prisoner Statistics Program.
      Press Release | PDF (1.1M) | ASCII file (33K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 18K)
    Part of the Prisoners Series

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    Related Topics

  • Corrections
  • Corrections | Total correctional population
  • Corrections | State and federal prisoners and prison facilities
  • Corrections | State and federal prisoners and prison facilities | Prison population counts
  • Corrections | State and federal prisoners and prison facilities | Prison inmate characteristics
  • Corrections | State and federal prisoners and prison facilities | State and federal prison facility characteristics
  • Corrections | Special populations | Federal Bureau of Prisons
  • Corrections | Special populations | Territories
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    Additional Information

    Data from the 1978-2012 yearend NPS collections are archived and available for download: http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR34540.v1

    Historical prisoners data (1925-1986) collected by BJS are archived and available for download: http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR08912.v1

    Data from the 1978-2012 NPS collection are available in an online query tool: http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=nps

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    Related Links

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