BJS: Bureau of Justice Statistics

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Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
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Community Corrections (Probation and Parole)
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The Bureau of Justice Statistics maintains two annual data series, the Annual Probation Survey and the Annual Parole Survey, designed to provide national, federal, and jurisdiction-level data from administrative records of adults supervised in the community on probation or parole. Both data series also collect information on the characteristics of probationers and parolees.

 The Bureau of Justice Statistics also maintains the annual data series, the National Corrections Reporting Program designed to provide data from:

  • administrative records on annual prison admissions and releases and on parole entries and discharges in participating jurisdictions,
  • individual prisoner records on the characteristics and composition of the prison and parole populations.

New Data Collection
The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) is working with Westat and the American Probation and Parole Association to implement the Census of Adult Probation Supervising Agencies (CAPSA), 2014. This will be the first census of its kind in more than 20 years. It will provide current information on the organization and nature of adult probation in the United States

Data Collections & Surveys

Publications & Products


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

Probation and Parole in the United States, 2013 Presents data on adult offenders under community supervision while on probation or parole in 2013.
  PDF (1.7M) | ASCII file (45K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 32K)
Part of the Probation and Parole Populations Series

Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 30 States in 2005: Patterns from 2005 to 2010 3 IN 4 FORMER PRISONERS IN 30 STATES ARRESTED WITHIN 5 YEARS OF RELEASE
  Press Release
Part of the Recidivism of Prisoners Released Series

Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 30 States in 2005: Patterns from 2005 to 2010 Examines the 5-year post-release offending patterns of persons released from state prisons in 2005 by offender characteristics, prior criminal history, and commitment offense.
  Press Release | PDF (1.5M) | ASCII file (35K) | Delimited-comma format (CSV) (Zip format 44K)
Part of the Recidivism of Prisoners Released 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

Probation and Parole in the United States, 2012 Presents data on adult offenders under community supervision while on probation or parole during 2012. The report describes trends in the overall community supervision population and reports on change in the probation and parole populations.
  Press Release | PDF (1.6M) | ASCII (ASCII file 51K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 30K)
Part of the Probation and Parole Populations 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

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

Adults on parole, federal and state-by-state, 1975-2012 Presents the number of persons on probation and parole from 1975 to yearend 2012, by state.
  Download CSV file (Spreadsheet 18 KB)

Adults on probation, federal and state-by-state, 1977-2012 Presents the number of adults on probation, federal and state-by-state, for 1977-2012.
  Download CSV file (Spreadsheet 26K)

Terms & Definitions

Community corrections The supervision of criminal offenders in the resident population, as opposed to confining offenders in secure correctional facilities. The two main types of community corrections supervision are probation and parole. Community corrections is also referred to as community supervision.
 
Custody To have custody of a prisoner, a state or the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) must physically hold that person in one of its facilities. A locality, state, or the BOP may hold inmates over whom a different government maintains jurisdiction.
 
Movement In corrections, a movement refers to an admission or a release from a status such as prisoner, parolee, or probationer. Unless specifically noted, a transfer between facilities does not count as a movement.
 
Parole Parole refers to criminal offenders who are conditionally released from prison to serve the remaining portion of their sentence in the community. Prisoners may be released to parole by a parole board decision (discretionary release/discretionary parole), according to provisions of a statute (mandatory release/mandatory parole), through other types of post-custody conditional supervision, or as the result of a sentence to a term of supervised release. In the federal system, a term of supervised release is a sentence to a fixed period of supervision in the community that follows a sentence to a period of incarceration in federal prison, both of which are ordered at the time of sentencing by a federal judge. Parolees can have a number of different supervision statuses including active supervision, which means they are required to regularly report to a parole authority in person, by mail, or by telephone. Some parolees may be on an inactive status which means they are excluded from regularly reporting, and that could be due to a number of reasons. For instance, some may receive a reduction in supervision, possibly due to compliance or meeting all required conditions before the parole sentence terminates, and therefore may be moved from an active to inactive status. Other supervision statues include parolees who only have financial conditions remaining, have absconded, or who have active warrants. Parolees are also typically required to fulfill certain conditions and adhere to specific rules of conduct while in the community. Failure to comply with any of the conditions can result in a return to incarceration.
 
Probation Probation refers to adult offenders whom courts place on supervision in the community through a probation agency, generally in lieu of incarceration. However, some jurisdictions do sentence probationers to a combined short-term incarceration sentence immediately followed by probation, which is referred to as a split sentence. Probationers can have a number of different supervision statuses including active supervision, which means they are required to regularly report to a probation authority in person, by mail, or by telephone. Some probationers may be on an inactive status which means they are excluded from regularly reporting, and that could be due to a number of reasons. For instance, some probationers may be placed on inactive status immediately because the severity of the offense was minimal or some may receive a reduction in supervision and therefore may be moved from an active to inactive status. Other supervision statuses include probationers who only have financial conditions remaining, have absconded, or who have active warrants. In many instances, while on probation, offenders are required to fulfill certain conditions of their supervision (e.g., payment of fines, fees or court costs, participation in treatment programs) and adhere to specific rules of conduct while in the community. Failure to comply with any conditions can result in incarceration.
 
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