BJS: Bureau of Justice Statistics

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Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
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Home  | Data Collection Detail
Data Collection: National Prisoner Statistics (NPS) Program
Status: Active
Frequency: Annually starting 1926
Latest data available: 2018

Produces annual national- and state-level data on the number of prisoners in state and federal prison facilities. Aggregate data are collected on race and sex of prison inmates, inmates held in private facilities and local jails, system capacity, noncitizens, and persons age 17 or younger. Findings are released in the Prisoners series and the Corrections Statistical Analysis Tool (CSAT) - Prisoners. Data are from the 50 state departments of correction, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and until 2001, from the District of Columbia (after 2001, felons sentenced under the District of Columbia criminal code were housed in federal facilities).

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Data Experts

  • E. Ann Carson, Ph.D., BJS Statistician (Email this expert)
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    Collection Period

    1926-Present

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    Questionnaires

    Advance Year-end Counts (NPS-1b -old)
    2004 PDF
    Population Reports Midyear Counts (NPS-1a)
    2010 PDF (78K) | 2009 PDF (80K) | 2008 PDF (69K) | 2007 PDF (103K) | 2006 PDF (72K) | 2005 PDF (68K) | 2004 PDF (47K)
    Summary of Sentenced Population Movement (NPS 1b-new)
    2019 NPS1BT-Form (344K) | 2019 PDF (467K) | 2018 NPS1BT-Form | 2018 PDF (712K) | 2017 NPS1BT-Form (210K) | 2017 PDF (405K) | 2016 PDF (401K) | 2016 NPS1BT-Form (185K) | 2015 PDF (321K) | 2015 NPS1BT-Form (173K) | 2014 NPS1BT-Form (98K) | 2014 PDF (112K) | 2013 PDF (110K) | 2012 PDF (111K) | 2011 PDF (109K) | 2010 PDF (78K) | 2009 PDF (98K) | 2008 PDF (102K) | 2007 PDF (102K)
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    Methodology

    Collection forms for December 31 are sent annually to central respondents in each of the 50 state departments of correction, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and 5 commonwealth territories. June 30 forms were sent to the central respondents through 2010, when the midyear collection was suspended pending redesign by BJS. Forms were sent to the District of Columbia until 2001, when its prison system ceased operations. As of December 31, 2001, sentenced felons from the District of Columbia are the responsibility of the federal Bureau of Prisons. Respondents are permitted to update the previous years' data when submitting the current year. Data are submitted online at a secure site.

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    Changes Over Time

    The following categories were added or altered over time: admission and release categories; race and ethnicity categories (1999, 2005); inmates held in local jails due to crowding (1978); inmates held in private facilities, local jails, and in another state (1999); persons age 17 or younger held (1998); non-U.S. citizens held (1998); and HIV information (1999).

    The Prisoner Population Reports Midyear Counts (NPS-1A) survey was suspended pending redesign.

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    Publications & Products

    The following publications and products were generated by BJS using data from this collection.

    Prisoners in 2019 This report is the 94th in a series that began in 1926. It provides counts of prisoners under the jurisdiction of state and federal correctional authorities in 2019 and includes findings on admissions, releases, and imprisonment rates.
      Press Release (203K) | Summary (PDF 176K) | Full report (PDF 796K) | Data tables (Zip format 46K) | Jurisdiction notes (PDF 86K)
    Part of the Prisoners Series

    Correctional Populations in the United States, 2017-2018 This report is the 23rd in a series that began in 1985. It provides statistics on populations supervised by adult correctional systems in the United States, including persons held in prisons or jails and those supervised in the community on probation or parole.
      Full report (PDF 701K) | Data tables (Zip format 17K)
    Part of the Correctional Populations in the United States Series

    Prisoners in 2018 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.
      Press Release (221K) | Summary (PDF 579K) | Full report (PDF 2M) | Data tables (Zip format 48K) | Jurisdiction notes (PDF 166K)
    Part of the Prisoners Series

    Data Collected Under the First Step Act, 2019 This is the first report as required under the First Step Act of 2018 (FSA, P.L. 115-391 ยง 610). It includes data on federal prisoners provided to BJS by the Federal Bureau of Prisons for calendar year 2018, which is prior to the enactment of the FSA.
      Full report (PDF 583K) | Data tables (Zip format 12K)

    Prisoners in 2017 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.
      Press Release (213K) | Summary (PDF 207K) | Full report (PDF 596K) | Data Tables (Zip format 100K)
    Part of the Prisoners Series

    Correctional Populations in the United States, 2016 Presents statistics on persons supervised by U.S. adult correctional systems at year-end 2016, including persons supervised in the community on probation or parole and those incarcerated in state or federal prison or local jail.
      Press Release (71K) | Full report (PDF 635K) | Data tables (Spreadsheet 14K)
    Part of the Correctional Populations in the United States Series

    Prisoners in 2016 Presents final counts of prisoners under the jurisdiction of state and federal correctional authorities at yearend 2016, including admissions, releases, noncitizen inmates, and inmates age 17 or younger.
      Press Release (74K) | Summary (PDF 205K) | Full report (PDF 1M) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 40K)
    Part of the Prisoners Series

    American Indian and Alaska Natives in Local Jails, 1999-2014 Describes the population of American Indian and Alaska Natives (AIAN) held in local jails, including national and state level estimates, characteristics of adult AIAN inmates, and comparisons to all other races and Hispanic origin.
      Summary (PDF 211K) | Full report (PDF 703K) | ASCII file (40K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 18K)
    Part of the American Indians and Crime Series

    HIV in Prisons, 2015 - Statistical Tables Presents data on state and federal prisoners who were HIV-positive or had confirmed AIDS and prisoners who died from AIDS-related causes.
      Press Release | Summary (PDF 184K) | Full report (PDF 980K) | ASCII file (26K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 25K)
    Part of the HIV in Prisons and Jails Series

    Correctional Populations in the United States, 2015 Presents statistics on persons supervised by adult correctional systems in the United States at yearend 2015, including persons supervised in the community on probation or parole and those incarcerated in state or federal prison or local jail.
      Press Release | Full report (PDF 787K) | ASCII file (43K) | Data tables (Spreadsheet 23K)
    Part of the Correctional Populations in the United States Series

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    Related Topics

  • Corrections
  • Corrections | Total correctional population
  • Corrections | State and federal prisoners and prison facilities
  • Corrections | State and federal prisoners and prison facilities | Prison population counts
  • Corrections | State and federal prisoners and prison facilities | Prison inmate characteristics
  • Corrections | State and federal prisoners and prison facilities | State and federal prison facility characteristics
  • Corrections | Special populations | Federal Bureau of Prisons
  • Corrections | Special populations | Territories
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    Additional Information

    Data from the 1978-2018 year-end NPS collections are archived and available for download.

    Historical prisoners data (1925-1986) collected by BJS are archived and available for download.

    Data from the 1978-2018 NPS collection are available in an online query tool.

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    Related Links

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