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Publication Prisoners in 2017

Jennifer Bronson, Ph.D., E. Ann Carson, Ph.D., BJS Statisticians

April 25, 2019    NCJ 252156

Presents final counts of prisoners under the jurisdiction of state and federal correctional authorities at year-end 2017 and includes findings on admissions, releases, and imprisonment rates. Selected findings on prisoner demographic and offense characteristics, non-U.S. citizen inmates, prisoners age 17 or younger, 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 corrections and the Federal Bureau of Prisons.


  • The imprisonment rate for sentenced prisoners under state or federal jurisdiction decreased 2.1% from 2016 to 2017 (from 450 to 440 sentenced prisoners per 100,000 U.S. residents) and 13% from 2007 to 2017 (from 506 to 440 per 100,000).
  • The number of prisoners under state or federal jurisdiction decreased by 18,700 (down 1.2%), from 1,508,100 at year-end 2016 to 1,489,400 at year-end 2017.
  • The federal prison population decreased by 6,100 prisoners from year-end 2016 to year-end 2017 (down 3%), accounting for one-third of the overall change in the U.S. prison population.
  • More than half (55%) of state prisoners were serving sentences for violent offenses at year-end 2016, the most recent year for which data are available.
  • The number of state or federal prisoners held in private facilities decreased 5% from 2016 to 2017.

Part of the Prisoners Series

Press Release (213K)
Summary (PDF 207K)
Full report (PDF 596K)
Data Tables (Zip format 100K)

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National Prisoner Statistics (NPS) Program

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