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Publication Prisoners in 2016

E. Ann Carson, Ph.D., BJS Statistician

January 9, 2018    NCJ 251149

Presents final counts of prisoners under the jurisdiction of state and federal correctional authorities at year-end 2016, including admissions, releases, noncitizen inmates, and inmates age 17 or younger. The report describes prisoner populations by jurisdiction, most serious offense, and demographic characteristics. Selected findings on prison capacity and prisoners held in private prisons, local jails, the U.S. military, and U.S. territories are also included. Findings are based on data from BJS's National Prisoner Statistics program, which collects data from state departments of correction and the Federal Bureau of Prisons.


  • The number of prisoners under state and federal jurisdiction at yearend 2016 (1,506,800) decreased by 19,800 (down 1%) from yearend 2015.
  • The federal prison population decreased by 7,300 prisoners from 2015 to 2016 (down almost 4%), accounting for 37% of the total change in the U.S. prison population.
  • State and federal prisons had jurisdiction over 1,459,500 persons sentenced to more than 1 year at yearend 2016.
  • The number of females sentenced to more than 1 year in state or federal prison increased by 700 from 2015 to 2016.
  • The imprisonment rate in the United States decreased 2%, from 459 prisoners per 100,000 U.S. residents of all ages in 2015 to 450 per 100,000 in 2016.

Part of the Prisoners Series

Press Release (74K)
Summary (PDF 205K)
Full report (PDF 1M)
Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 40K)

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National Prisoner Statistics (NPS) Program

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