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Publication Prisoners in 2012 - Advance Counts

E. Ann Carson, Ph.D., Daniela Golinelli, Bureau of Justice Statistics

July 25, 2013    NCJ 242467

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. This advance report provides a timely estimate of the 2012 yearend prison populations and compares changes in the prison population during 2012 to changes from yearend 2002 through yearend 2011. The report describes the third consecutive year of decline in the state prison population and growth in the federal prison population. It includes estimates of imprisonment rates by jurisdiction for prisoners sentenced to more than one year and estimates of the distribution of state prisoners by sex, race or Hispanic origin, and offense. The report examines the continued impact of California's Public Safety Realignment on California's prison population and on national totals and trends. See also the new data online tool  Corrections Statistical Analysis Tool (CSAT) – Prisoners which allows users to generate tables on the numbers and rates of prisoners under the jurisdiction of federal or state correctional authorities from National Prisoner Statistics (NPS) Program.


  • The U.S. prison population declined for the third consecutive year in 2012, from a high of 1,615,487 inmates in 2009 to 1,571,013 at yearend 2012.
  • The U.S. imprisoned 27,770 fewer prisoners (down 1.7%) at yearend 2012 than at yearend 2011.
  • The federal prison population increased by 1,453 prisoners in 2012 (up 0.7%), while the state prison population declined by 29,223 prisoners (down 2.1%).

Part of the Prisoners Series

Press Release
Full report (PDF 1.1M)
ASCII file (33K)
Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 18K)

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About the Source Data
National Corrections Reporting Program (NCRP)
National Prisoner Statistics (NPS) Program

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