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Publication Prisoners in 2018

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

April 30, 2020    NCJ 253516

This report is the 93rd in a series that began in 1926. It provides counts of prisoners under the jurisdiction of state and federal correctional authorities in 2018 and includes findings on admissions, releases, and imprisonment rates. It describes demographic and offense characteristics of state and federal prisoners.


  • The number of prisoners under state or federal jurisdiction decreased by an estimated 24,000 (down 1.6%) from 2017 to 2018, and by 143,100 (down 9%) from 2008 to 2018.
  • In 2018, the combined state and federal imprisonment rate (431 sentenced prisoners per 100,000 U.S. residents) was the lowest since 1996 (427 per 100,000).
  • The imprisonment rate fell 2% from 2017 to 2018 and 15% from 2008 to 2018.
  • From 2008 to 2018, the imprisonment rate dropped 28% among blacks, 21% among Hispanics, and 13% among whites.

Part of the Prisoners Series

Press Release (221K)
Summary (PDF 579K)
Full report (PDF 2M)
Data tables (Zip format 48K)
Jurisdiction notes (PDF 166K)

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National Prisoner Statistics (NPS) Program

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