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Prisoners in 2020 – Statistical Tables

NCJ Number
Date Published
December 2021
Publication Series

This report is the 95th in a series that began in 1926. It describes demographic and offense characteristics of state and federal prisoners. It also provides data on prisoners held under military jurisdiction. Findings are based on data from BJS’s National Prisoner Statistics program.

  • At yearend 2020, the number of prisoners under state or federal jurisdiction had decreased by 214,300 (down 15%) from 2019 and by 399,700 (down 25%) from 2009, the year the number of prisoners in the United States peaked.
  • Nine states showed decreases in the number of persons in prison of at least 20% from 2019 to 2020.
  • The prison populations of California, Texas, and the Federal Bureau of Prisons each declined by more than 22,500 from 2019 to 2020, accounting for 33% of the total prison population decrease.
  • In 2020, the imprisonment rate was 358 per 100,000 U.S. residents, the lowest since 1992.

Date Published: December 14, 2021