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Prisoner population last year in United States increased for first time in a decade

At yearend 2022, correctional authorities in the United States had jurisdiction over 1,230,100 persons in state or federal prisons, an increase of 2% or 25,100 persons from yearend 2021 (1,205,100 persons).

WASHINGTON – The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) has released Prisoners in 2022 – Statistical Tables. At yearend 2022, correctional authorities in the United States had jurisdiction over 1,230,100 persons in state or federal prisons, an increase of 2% or 25,100 persons from yearend 2021 (1,205,100 persons).

“This rise erased the 1% decline reported in 2021 and marked the first increase in the combined state and federal prison population in almost a decade (since 2013),” noted BJS Acting Director Kevin M. Scott, PhD.

In 2022, states and the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) admitted 469,200 persons to prison, which was 20,800 more than they released that year (448,400) and 48,200 more than they admitted the year before (421,000). The imprisonment rate at yearend 2022 (355 sentenced prisoners per 100,000 U.S. residents of all ages) was down 26% from yearend 2012 (480 per 100,000) but up 1% from yearend 2021 (350 per 100,000).

Examining prisoners by demographics revealed that the number of females in state or federal prison increased almost 5% from yearend 2021 (83,700) to yearend 2022 (87,800). At yearend 2022, an estimated 32% of sentenced state and federal prisoners were black; 31% were white; 23% were Hispanic; 2% were American Indian or Alaska Native; and 1% were Asian, Native Hawaiian, or Other Pacific Islander.

Data were also analyzed by jurisdiction. State correctional authorities had jurisdiction over 1,039,500 persons sentenced to at least 1 year in prison in 2022, while the BOP had legal authority over 146,100 persons with similar sentences. Across the country, nine states and the BOP increased their total prison populations by over 1,000 persons from yearend 2021 to yearend 2022.

Ninety-six percent of persons in U.S. prisons in 2022 were sentenced to more than 1 year under the jurisdiction of state or federal correctional authorities (1,185,600). Thirty-five states and the BOP showed growth in their sentenced prison populations from 2021 to 2022, with increases of at least 1,000 persons in eight states and the BOP.

Findings are based on the National Prisoner Statistics program. The report provides updates to preliminary estimates of the 2022 prison population released in September 2023.

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