# The Footprint

## Tracking the Size of

## America's Criminal Justice System

Published September 2023

The overall size, or “footprint,” of the American criminal justice system remains well above historical levels, but it has shrunk substantially in recent years. This series of interactive charts summarizes trends in crime, arrests, and correctional control (incarceration and community supervision), comparing current levels with their most recent peaks or valleys. Time periods vary due to data availability, and where reliable data are available, trends in race and sex are also presented.

COVID-19 resulted in significant changes in crime patterns and the operations of law enforcement agencies, courts, correctional agencies, and paroling authorities. Because of the unique influence of the pandemic across the system, analyses also examine the early effects of the pandemic on crime, arrests, and correctional control.

The first section provides a high-level overview of crime, arrest, and incarceration trends in recent decades. The following sections take a closer look at trends in each area, broken down by age, crime type, race, and sex.

# Overview

### Reported Crime, 1960-2020

Notes: Data reflect Part I major crimes as defined by the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program for adults and juveniles. Data only include crimes reported to law enforcement. Read more.

- Number: The number of Part I violent and property crimes reported to law enforcement peaked in 1991 at 14.9 million after rising 340% from 1960. From 1991 to 2019, the number of reported crimes decreased by more than 6.6 million to 8.2 million, a drop of 45%. In 2020, there were 540,000 fewer reported property crimes than in 2019, an 8% decrease, and 62,000 additional reported violent crimes, an increase of 5%.
- Rate: The overall crime rate rose 215% to peak in 1980, before falling 58% from 1980 to 2019 and 60% from 1980 to 2020.

### Arrests, 1980-2020

Note: Data include adults and juveniles.

- Number: The total number of annual arrests for juveniles and adults rose by 4.8 million from 1980 to 1997 (peak), then fell by more than 5 million from 1997 to 2019, a drop of 33%. In 2020, police made 2.4 million fewer arrests than in 2019, a one-year drop of 24%. The number of 2020 arrests was 49% lower than in 1997.
- Rate: The arrest rate peaked in 1989 and was 47% lower in 2019 and 60% lower in 2020. Between 2019 and 2020, the arrest rate fell by 25%.

### Correctional Control, 1980-2021

Notes: Data include adults and juveniles. People awaiting trial at home or engaged in diversion/deferred prosecution programs or specialty courts are not included unless they are under probation supervision. Read more.

- Number: There were 7.5 million people in the U.S. under some form of correctional control on a given day in 2007 (peak) compared to 1980, an increase of 305%. This value dropped 13% from 2007 to 2019, 24% from 2007 to 2020, and 25% from 2007 to 2021 (despite an increase in the number of people held in local jails from 2020 to 2021). In 2021, there were 5.6 million people under correctional control.
- Rate: The total correctional control rate increased 203% from 1980 to 2007, peaking at one out of every 31 American adults. The correctional control rate dropped 20% from 2007 to 2019 and 30% from 2007 to 2020. By the end of 2021, the rate of correctional control stood at 1 in 48 adults, 32% below peak.

## Crime and Victimization Rates

Values for 2021 are not provided because the transition from UCR reporting to a new National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) has hampered comparisons to earlier national data. Near real-time CCJ analysis on crime trends derived from a limited number of cities across the nation are provided in regular reports that began in July 2020.

### Reported Violent Crime, 1960-2020

Notes: Data reflect Part I crimes as defined by the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program: homicide, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Read more.

- Homicide: The number of homicides reported annually increased from just over 9,000 in 1960 to nearly 25,000 in 1991 (peak), an increase of 171%. In 1991, homicides generally began a downward trend and by 2014, they had fallen by 43% from the peak. In 2015, homicides began a slight upward trend. In 2019, there were 8,000 fewer homicides annually when compared to 1991, a drop of 33%. In 2020, there were 5,000 additional homicides than in 2019, a rise of 29%. See the Council’s report on Homicide Trends for more information.
- Rape: The definition of rape was changed in 2013, which makes it challenging to discern historical trends. There were more than 92,000 additional rapes reported in 1992 (the peak when using the earlier definition) compared to 1960, an increase of 534%. The number of rapes generally began to fall throughout the 1990s and then remained relatively flat until the definitional change in 2013. There were nearly 24,000 fewer rapes reported in 2012 compared to 1992. The definitional change broadened what counted as rape in official databases, which brought nearly 30,000 additional rapes into this category in 2013. However, even when examining rates using the pre-2013 definition, the number of reported rapes began to rise in 2014. In 2019, there were 30,000 additional reported rapes compared to 2013. From 2019 to 2020, the number of reported rapes fell by 12%.
- Robbery: The number of robberies reported annually increased six-fold from 1960 to 1991 (peak), rising 538%, after which a downward trend began. In 2019, there were 420,000 fewer robberies annually compared to the peak. From 2019 to 2020, the number of robberies fell by 9%.
- Aggravated Assault: There were more than 980,000 additional aggravated assaults reported in 1993 (peak) than in 1960, an increase of 636%. The number of aggravated assaults trended downward from 1993 to 2019, dropping 28%. In 2020, there were nearly 100,000 additional assaults reported than in 2019, a rise of 12%.
- Rate: The violent crime rate peaked in 1991 and was 50% lower in 2019 and 47% lower in 2020, despite increases that began in 2015. The violent crime rate increased 5% from 2019 to 2020, reflecting a 7% increase from the 2014 low.

### Reported Property Crime, 1960-2020

Notes: Data reflect Part I crimes as defined by the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program: burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft, and arson. Read more.

- Burglary: The number of burglaries reported annually increased by nearly 2.9 million from 1960 to 1980 (peak), a rise of 316%. rising 538%. After 1980, burglaries generally began to fall; a clear downward trend is noted from 2012 to 2020. In 2019, there were nearly 2.7 million fewer burglaries annually compared to the peak, a drop of 71%. From 2019 to 2020, the number of burglaries fell an additional 7%.
- Larceny: The number of larcenies reported annually increased by nearly 6.3 million from 1960 to 1991 (peak), a rise of 339%. After 1991, larcenies generally began to fall; a clear downward trend is noted from 2004 to 2020. In 2019, there were nearly 3 million fewer larcenies annually compared to the peak, a drop of 37%. From 2019 to 2020, the number of larcenies fell an additional 11%.
- Motor Vehicle Theft: The number of motor vehicle thefts reported annually increased by more than 1.3 million from 1960 to 1991 (peak), a rise of 406%. After 1991, motor vehicle thefts generally began to fall. In 2019, there were nearly 3 million fewer motor vehicle thefts annually compared to the peak, a drop of 56%. In 2020, there were more than 85,000 additional motor vehicle thefts than in 2019, an increase of 12%.
- Rate: Although the total number of property crimes peaked in 1991, the property crime rate peaked much earlier, in 1980. Despite notable increases in the property crime rate from 1985 to 1991, the property crime rate in 2020 was 63% lower than at the peak in 1980. The 7% drop in the property crime rate from 2019 to 2020 was comparable to other one-year decreases after the peak.

### Violent Crime Victimization,

### 1993-2022

Notes: Data were drawn from the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS). Read more.

- Rape/Sexual Assault: The number of people age 12 and older who indicated that they had experienced rape/sexual assault dropped 49% from 1993 to 2019 and 63% from 1993 to 2020. In 2021, the number of people who experienced rape/sexual assault increased by about 5,000 from the year prior. From 2021 to 2022, this number increased by more than 207,000, a one-year rise of 64%.
- Robbery: The number of people who experienced robbery decreased 70% from 1993 to 2019 and 75% from 1993 to 2020. From 2020 to 2021, roughly 27,000 additional people indicated that they had experienced a robbery, a one-year rise of 6%. From 2021 to 2022, an addtitional 230,000 people indicated having experienced a robbery, a one-year increase of 50%.
- Aggravated Assault: The number of people who indicated that they had experienced aggravated assault decreased 71% from 1993 to 2019 and 77% from 1993 to 2020. Unlike other forms of victimization, aggravated assault continued to decrease in 2021, dropping 6% from 2020. From 2021 to 2022, an additional 774,000 people indicated that they had experienced an aggravated assault, a one-year rise of 101%.
- Simple Assault: The number of people who experienced simple assault rose from 1993 to 1994 and then decreased 66% from 1994 to 2019 and 74% from 1994 to 2020. From 2020 to 2021, nearly 55,000 additional people indicated that they had experienced a robbery, a one-year rise of 2%. From 2021 to 2022, there were nearly 815,000 additional people who experienced a simple assault, a one-year increase of 27%.
- Rate: The rate of violent victimization peaked in 1994, then dropped 74% from 1994 to 2019 and 80% from 1994 to 2020. There was a 6% rate increase from 2020 to 2021 and a 43% increase from 2021 to 2022.

### Property Crime Victimization, 1993-2022

Notes: Data were drawn from the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS). Read more.

- Burglary: The number of people age 12 and older who indicated that they had experienced a burglary dropped 68% from 1993 to 2019, 73% from 1994 to 2020, and 75% from 1993 to 2021. From 2021 to 2022, there were more than 181,000 additional people who experienced a burglary, a one-year rise of 16%.
- Trespassing: The number of people who experienced trespassing decreased 62% from 1993 to 2019 and 71% from 1993 to 2020. From 2020 to 2021, nearly 127,000 additional people indicated that they had experienced trespassing, a one-year rise of 24%. From 2021 to 2022, the number of people who experienced tresspassing decreased by more than 61,000, a one-year drop of 9%.
- Vehicle Theft: The number of people who indicated that they had experienced a vehicle theft increased slightly from 1993 to 1994 and then decreased 74% from 1994 to 2019. There were increases in vehicle thefts in both 2020 and 2021. From 2019 to 2020, vehicle thefts rose 10% before increasing an additional 2% in 2021, and rising an additional 28% in 2022. From 2019 to 2022, the number of people who experienced a vehicle theft increased by 45%.
- Other Theft: The number of people who experienced other theft dropped 62% from 1993 to 2019, 63% from 1994 to 2020, and 65% from 1993 to 2021. From 2021 to 2022, the number of people who experienced other theft increased by 1.4 million, a one-year rise of 15%.
- Rate: The rate of property crime victimization dropped 71% from 1993 to 2019, 73% from 1993 to 2020, and 74% from 1993 to 2021. From 2021 to 2022, the property crime victimization rate increased 13%.

## Arrests

Total arrests include all arrests nationally in a given year for adults (age 18 and older) and juveniles (age 10 to 17). Arrests are displayed by crime type, race, and sex for adults and juveniles.

## Adult Arrests

### Adult Arrests, 1980-2020

- Number: The number of adult arrests peaked at nearly 12.5 million in 1997. The majority of annual arrests are made for a category of crimes labeled “other” that include a range of non-traffic related offenses (e.g., disorderly conduct, driving under the influence, forgery, fraud, and weapons charges). During the peak year of 1997, 5% of arrests were for violent crime. This value has remained relatively stable over time; 5% of arrests in 2019 and 6% of arrests in 2020 were for violent crime. There were 7.2 million arrests in 2020-nearly 2.2 million fewer arrests than in 2019-a drop of 23%.
- Rate: The adult arrest rate increased 27% from 1980 to the peak in 1989, then decreased 47% from 1989 to 2019 and 60% from 1989 to 2020.

### Adult Arrests for

### Violent Crime, 1980-2020

Notes: Data presented on arrests for violent crime include arrests for homicide, robbery, and aggravated assault. Read more.

- Number: The number of annual adult arrests for violent crime rose by more than 260,000 from 1980 to 1995 (peak), then dropped 31% by 2019. There were roughly 190,000 fewer arrests for violent crime in both 2019 and 2020 compared to the 1995 peak. While total adult arrests decreased sharply between 2019 and 2020, arrests for violent crime increased by just under 2,200.
- Rate: The adult arrest rate for violent crime peaked in 1995 and was 47% lower in 2019 and remained flat in 2020.

### Adult Arrests for

### Property Crime, 1980-2020

Note: Arrests for property crime include only Part I property offenses (burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft, and arson). Additional types of property crime arrests are counted by the FBI in the “other” category.

- Number: The number of annual adult arrests for property crime rose nearly 495,000 from 1980 to the peak in 1989, then fell by nearly 811,000 in 2020, a drop of 50%. Although property crime trended steadily downward beginning in 2015, there was a larger-than-average drop of 17% from 2019 to 2020, reflecting 160,000 fewer property crime arrests.
- Rate: The adult arrest rate for property crime peaked in 1989 and was 57% lower in 2019 and 65% lower in 2020.

### Adult Arrests for

### Drug Offenses, 1980-2020

Note: Drug offenses include sale, purchase, distribution, manufacture, cultivation, transport, possession, and use.

- Number: The number of annual adult arrests for drug-law violations rose by more than 1.2 million from 1980 to the peak in 2006, then fell by 214,000 in 2019, a drop of 13%. From 2006 to 2020, the number of annual arrests fell by 580,000, a drop of 34%. In 2020, there were 365,000 fewer arrests for drug offenses than in 2019.
- Rate: The arrest rate for drug offenses increased 136% between 1980 and 1989, then decreased 27% from 1989 to 1991, before beginning to rise again. The rate peaked in 2006 and was 23% lower in 2019 and 42% lower in 2020.

### Adult Arrests for

### Other Crimes, 1980-2020

Note: The “other” category includes all other non-traffic related offenses. Read more.

- Number: The number of annual adult arrests for “other” crimes rose by nearly 2.9 million from 1980 to the peak in 1997, then dropped 29% from 1997 to 2019 and 47% from 1997 to 2020. In 2020, there were nearly 1.7 million fewer arrests for other crimes than in 2019.
- Rate: The adult arrest rate for crimes categorized as other peaked in 1990 and was 47% lower in 2019 and 61% lower in 2020.

### Adult Arrests by Race, 1980-2020

Notes: Data identifying Hispanic ethnicity of those arrested were missing for the majority of the study period. Read more.

While the total number of arrests peaked in 1997, trends by racial identity varied.

- White: The number of arrests of White adults increased 41%, representing more than 2.5 million additional arrests annually, from 1980 to 2006 (peak), then fell 24% from 2006 to 2019 and 41% from 2006 to 2020.
- Black: Annual arrests for Black adults increased by nearly 1.8 million, a rise of 86%, from 1980 to 1997, then fell 35% from 1997 to 2019 and 52% from 1997 to 2020. There were fewer arrests among Black and White adults in 2020 than in any other of the past 40 years.
- Native American: The number of arrests of Native American adults increased 127% from 1980 to 2017 (peak), then fell 9% from 2017 to 2019 and 27% from 2017 to 2020.
- Asian: Arrests of Asian adults increased 256% from 1980 to 2012 (peak), then dropped 6% from 2012 to 2019 and 29% from 2012 to 2020.

### Adult Arrest Rate by Race, 1980-2020

Arrest rates peaked in the 1980s for members of all included racial groups. For both Native American and Asian adults, the arrest rate was higher in 1980 than at any other time.

- White: The arrest rate for White adults increased 24% from 1980 to 1989 (peak), then decreased 38% from its peak to 2019 and 52% from peak to 2020. From 2019 to 2020, the arrest rate for White adults dropped 23%.
- Black: The arrest rate among Black adults increased by 51% from 1980 to 1989, then decreased 60% from its peak to 2019 and 70% from peak to 2020. From 2019 to 2020, the arrest rate for Black adults dropped 26%.
- Native American: The arrest rate among Native American adults was 47% lower in 2019 and 58% lower in 2020 than it was in 1980. Of note, arrests among Native American adults increased 42% from 2014 to 2017 before falling again. From 2019 to 2020, the arrest rate for Native American adults dropped 21%.
- Asian: The arrest rate among Asian adults was 48% lower in 2019 and 61% lower in 2020 than it was in 1980. From 2019 to 2020, the arrest rate for Asian adults dropped 26%.

### Adult Arrests by Sex,

### 1980-2020

- Male: There were nearly 3 million additional male arrests in 1989 than in 1980, an increase of 42%. From the peak in 1989, arrests among males fell 32% in 2019 and 47% in 2020. In 2020, 1.5 million fewer men were arrested compared to 2019.
- Female: There were nearly 1.7 million additional female arrests in 2009 (peak) than in 1980, a rise of 142%. Female arrests fell 11% from peak to 2019 and 34% from peak to 2020. In 2020, 665,000 fewer females were arrested than in 2019.

### Adult Arrest Rate by Sex,

### 1980-2020

- Male: Arrest rates for males increased by 26% from 1980 to the peak in 1989. The male arrest rate fell 52% from the 1989 peak to 2019 and fell 63% from peak to 2020.
- Female: The female arrest rate rose by 74% from 1980 to its peak in 2009, then fell 18% from peak to 2019 and 40% from peak to 2020.

## Juvenile Arrests

### Juvenile Arrests, 1980-2020

- Number: The number of annual juvenile arrests rose by more than 650,000 from 1980 to the peak in 1996, then dropped 74% from 1996 to 2019, representing nearly 2 million fewer annual arrests. In 2020, there were 260,000 fewer juvenile arrests made than in 2019, a one-year drop of 38%.
- Rate: The juvenile arrest rate peaked in 1996 and was 76% lower in 2019 and 85% lower in 2020.

### Juvenile Arrest Rates by Offense Type, 1980-2020

- Violent: The juvenile violent crime arrest rate increased 70% from 1980 to 1994 (peak), then decreased 73% from 1994 to 2019 and 80% from 1994 to 2020.
- Property: The arrest rate for juvenile property crime rose 8% from 1980 to its peak in 1988 and then decreased 86% from 1988 to 2019 and 91% from 1988 to 2020.
- Drug: Juvenile arrests for drug offenses increased 91% from 1980 to 1997 (peak). Juvenile drug offense arrests fell 65% from 1997 to 2019 and 81% from 1997 to 2020.
- Other: Arrests for crimes categorized as “other” rose 50% from 1980 to 1996 (peak), then fell 79% from 1996 to 2019 and 87% from 1996 to 2020.

### Juvenile Arrests by Race,

### 1980-2020

The total number of juvenile arrests peaked in 1996, although peak years varied slightly between racial groups. There were fewer arrests of juveniles in all racial groups in 2020 than in any other year.

- White: There were 340,000 additional arrests of White juveniles in 1996 (peak) compared to 1980, an increase of 22%. This number dropped 77% from 1996 to 2019 and 86% from 1996 to 2020. From 2019 to 2020, the number of arrests among White juveniles fell by more than 150,000, a drop of 37%.
- Black: There were nearly 280,000 more Black juveniles arrested in 1995 (peak) compared to 1980, an increase of 63%. From 1995 to 2019, arrests of Black juveniles decreased 68% and fell 81% from 1995 to 2020. From 2019 to 2020, the number of arrests of Black juveniles dropped by 97,000, a decrease of 41%.
- Native American: The number of Native American juveniles arrested nearly doubled from 1980 to 1997 (peak), a 97% increase. This number decreased 58% from 1997 to 2019 and 68% from 1997 to 2020. From 2019 to 2020, the number of arrests of Native American juveniles fell by 3,400, a drop of 23%.
- Asian: The number of arrests of Asian juveniles tripled from 1980 to 1996 (peak), increasing 204%. The number of Asian juveniles arrested decreased 76% from 1996 to 2019 and 87% from 1996 to 2020. From 2019 to 2020, the number of arrests of Asian juveniles dropped by nearly half (45%) to 5,600.

### Juvenile Arrest Rate by Race, 1980-2020

The arrest rate for White, Native American, and Asian juveniles peaked in 1996; for Black juveniles the peak was in 1995. For White, Black, and Asian juveniles, arrest rates in both 2019 and 2020 were lower than at any other time since 1980.

- White: Arrest rates for White juveniles increased 26% from 1980 to 1996 (peak), then decreased 78% from 1996 to 2019 and 86% from 1996 to 2020. From 2019 to 2020, the White juvenile arrest rate fell 36%.
- Black: The arrest rate among Black juveniles increased by 55% from 1980 to 1995 (peak), then decreased 73% from 1995 to 2019 and 84% from 1995 to 2020. From 2019 to 2020, the Black juvenile arrest rate dropped 42%.
- Native American: The arrest rate for Native American juveniles fell 26% from 1980 to 1984, then rose 67% from 1984 to the peak in 1996. The arrest rate for Native American juveniles fell 72% from 1996 to 2019 and 79% from 1996 to 2020. From 2019 to 2020, the Native American juvenile arrest rate fell 24%.
- Asian: The arrest rate among Asian juveniles increased 25% from 1980 to 1996 (peak), then decreased 86% from 1996 to 2019 and 93% from 1996 to 2020. From 2019 to 2020, the Asian juvenile arrest rate dropped 46%.

### Juvenile Arrests by Sex,

### 1980-2020

The arrest rate for male and female juveniles peaked in 1996. While the rate for male juveniles decreased steadily from 1997 to 2020, the rate for female juveniles plateaued from 2000 to 2008 before beginning to fall.

- Male: The arrest rate for male juveniles increased 23% from 1980 to 1996 (peak), then fell 78% from 1996 to 2019 and 86% from 1996 to 2020. From 2019 to 2020, the juvenile male arrest rate dropped 37%.
- Female: The arrests rate for female juveniles rose 75% from 1980 to 1996 (peak), then decreased 68% from 1996 to 2019 and 81% from 1996 to 2020. From 2019 to 2020, the juvenile female arrest rate dropped 41%.

## Correctional Control

Correctional control includes all people (adult and juvenile) under probation or parole supervision as well as those incarcerated in jails and prisons.

## Probation

Probation is a period of court-ordered community supervision during which supervisees must fulfill certain conditions in order to avoid incarceration or other sanctions. Standard conditions include checking in with a probation officer, not engaging in new crime, securing and maintaining employment, and submitting to drug tests.

### Probation, 1980-2021

- Number: The number of people on probation on a given day increased by nearly 3.2 million from 1980 to 2007 (peak), a rise of 284%. This number fell 19% from 2007 to 2019, reflecting 800,000 fewer people on probation. From 2019 to 2020, the number of people on probation fell by nearly 440,000; in 2021, the number dropped again by just over 90,000. Overall, there were 1.3 million fewer people on probation in 2021 compared to the 2007 peak, a drop of 31%.
- Rate: The probation rate rose 187% from 1980 to 2007 (peak), then fell 25% from 2007 to 2019, 35% from 2007 to 2020, and 37% from 2007 to 2021.

### Probation by Race, 2001-2021

Notes: Throughout the study period, approximately one-third of people on probation did not have a recorded race or ethnicity. Read more.

- White: The number of White people on probation increased by 1% from 2001 to 2002 (peak), then decreased 14% from 2002 to 2019 and 28% from 2002 to 2020. There were 215,000 fewer White people on probation in 2020 compared to 2019, a drop of 16%. From 2020 to 2021, the number of White people increased by nearly 20,000, a rise of 2%. The 2021 number was 27% lower than at the 2002 peak.
- Black: The number of Black people on probation increased by 2% between 2001 and 2002 (peak), then dropped 13% from 2002 to 2019 and 28% from 2002 to 2020. There were 121,500 fewer Black people on probation in 2020 compared to 2019, a drop of 16%. From 2020 to 2021, the number of Black people on probation dropped an additional 3%, putting this number down 29% from the 2002 peak to 2021.
- Hispanic: The number of Hispanic adults on probation peaked in 2008, rising 15% from 2001, then dropped 17% from 2008 to 2019 and 30% from 2008 to 2020. There were 47,000 fewer Hispanic people on probation in 2020 compared to 2019, a drop of 15%. From 2020 to 2021, the number of Hispanic people on probation increased by 11,000, a rise of 4%. The number was 27% lower in 2021 than at the 2008 peak.
- Native American: The number of Native American people on probation peaked at 28,700 in 2015, rising 24% from 2001. The number remained relatively flat until 2019. There were 1,800 fewer Native American people on probation in 2020 compared to 2019, a drop of 7%. From the peak to 2021, the number of Native American people on probation decreased by 3,600, a drop of 13%.
- Asian: The number of Asian people on probation rose 47% from 2001 to 2012 (peak), then remained relatively flat, dropping 5%, from 2012 to 2019. There were 3,600 fewer Asian people on probation in 2020 compared to 2019, a drop of 15%. From the peak to 2021, the number of Asian people on probation decreased by 5,600, a drop of 22%.

### Probation by Sex, 1994-2021

- Male: The share of males under probation supervision decreased from 80% in 1994 to 76% in 2021 as the number of females increased.
- Female: The largest share of females on probation (26%) was recorded in 2017.

## Parole

Parole is the discretionary release of an incarcerated person under post-release supervision conditions by a case review board. Typically, parole eligibility occurs after an individual serves a required percentage of the maximum sentence imposed by the court. When a person becomes eligible for parole varies widely by state, and not all states offer parole.

### Parole, 1980-2021

- Number: The number of people on parole on a given day nearly quadrupled from 1980 to 2019 (peak), a 299% increase. From 2019 to 2020, the number decreased by nearly 17,000, a drop of 2%. The number of people on parole fell again from 2020 to 2021 by nearly 60,000 people, a 7% decrease.
- Rate: The parole rate increased 164% from 1980 to 1992, after which it largely plateaued until 2019. From 2019 to 2020, the rate dropped 2% and fell an additional 8% from 2020 to 2021, a 12% decrease from the 2011 peak.

### Parole by Race, 2001-2021

Notes: Throughout the study period, a substantial proportion of individuals on parole (30% in 2021) did not have a recorded race or ethnicity. Read more.

- White: The number of White adults on parole increased by 31% between 2001 and 2017 (peak), then dropped 8% from 2017 to 2019 and 20% from 2017 to 2020. From 2020 to 2021, the number of White adults on parole increased by 23,500, a rise of 8%; the number of people on parole from all other racial groups decreased or remained flat.
- Black: The number of Black adults on parole increased by 7% between 2001 and 2010 (peak), then decreased 13% from 2010 to 2019, 23% from 2010 to 2020, and 28% from 2010 to 2021. In 2021, there were 16,100 fewer Black people on parole than in the previous year.
- Hispanic: The number of Hispanic adults on parole increased 17% between 2001 and 2007 (peak), then dropped by 28% from 2007 to 2019, 29% from 2007 to 2020, and 33% from 2007 to 2021. In 2021, there were nearly 5,000 fewer Hispanic people on parole than in the previous year.
- Native American: The number of Native American adults on parole increased throughout the study period, rising 109% from 2001 to the peak in 2020. In 2021, there were roughly 100 fewer Native American adults on parole than in the previous year.
- Asian: The number of Asian adults on parole increased 39% from 2001 to 2015 (peak), then decreased 16% from 2015 to 2019 and 25% from 2015 to 2020. The number of Asian adults on parole stayed flat from 2020 to 2021.

### Parole by Sex, 1994-2021

- Male: The share of males under parole supervision decreased from 90% in 1994 to 88% in 2021 as the number of females on parole increased slightly.
- Female: The largest share of females on parole (14%) was recorded in 2002.

## Jails

Jails are local correctional facilities that hold people who have been accused of crime and are awaiting trial, along with those serving shorter sentences (typically less than one year) for less serious crimes. Some people are incarcerated in jail prior to their transfer to prison; others are released from jail to the community.

### Incarceration in Jails, 1980-2021

- Number: More than 600,000 additional people were incarcerated in local jails on a given day in 2008 (peak) compared to 1980, an increase of 331%. The number of people in jail dropped 7% from 2008 to 2019 and 30% from 2008 to 2020. Although the number of people in jails fell by more than 185,000 from 2019 to 2020, in 2021, the number increased by more than 87,000, a rise of 16%.
- Rate: The jail incarceration rate increased 220% from 1980 to 2007 (peak), then decreased 14% from 2007 to 2019 and 36% from 2007 to 2020. Although the rate increased 15% from 2020 to 2021, it was 26% lower in 2021 compared to 2007.

### Jail Incarceration by Race,

### 1990-2021

Note: Data on Native American and Asian adults were not consistently reported and are therefore not presented here.

- White: The incarceration rate for White adults in jails rose 95% from 1990 to 2017 (peak). The rate dropped 3% from 2017 to 2019 and 30% from 2017 to 2020. The rate dropped 28% from 2019 to 2020, then increased 21% in 2021.
- Black: The Black adult jail incarceration rate rose 31% from 1990 to 2008 (peak) and then fell 32% from 2008 to 2019 and 48% from 2008 to 2020. From 2019 to 2020, the rate dropped 23% before increasing 18% in 2021.
- Hispanic: The incarceration rate for Hispanic adults in jail increased by 13% from 1990 to 1997 (peak), then fell 44% from 1997 to 2019 and 58% from 1997 to 2020. The rate fell 25% from 2019 to 2020, then rose 5% in 2021.

### Jail Incarceration by Sex,

### 1983-2021

- Male: The number of males in jail more than tripled between 1983 and the peak in 2007, rising 230%. The number of males dropped 8% from 2007 to 2019 and 30% from 2007 to 2020. After a 23% decrease from 2019 to 2020, there remained nearly 72,000 additional males in jail in 2021 compared to 2020, representing an increase of 15%.
- Female: There were roughly 16,000 females in jail in 1983. This number peaked in 2018 at more than 115,000, an increase of 635%. The number of females dropped 4% from 2018 to 2019 and 39% from 2018 to 2020. The number dropped 37% from 2019 to 2020, then rose 22% in 2021, reflecting more than 15,000 additional females in jail on a given day in 2021 compared to 2020.

## State Prisons

Prisons are correctional facilities that house people typically serving sentences of incarceration of one year or more.

### Incarceration in State Prisons, 1960-2021

- Number: The number of people in state prisons on a given day decreased by 22,000 from 1960 to 1968, then grew by more than 1.2 million to a peak in 2009, a 740% increase. The number of people in state prisons dropped 11% from 2009 to 2019 and 24% from 2009 to 2020. In 2021, there were 360,000 fewer people in state prisons compared to the peak population, a drop of 26%.
- Rate: The state imprisonment rate decreased from 1960 to 1972, then increased 419% from 1972 to 1999. After a two-year decline, the rate rose 3% to its peak in 2007. The rate then dropped 17% from 2007 to 2019, 30% from 2007 to 2020, and 31% from 2007 to 2021.

### State Prison Population by Offense Type, 1990-2020

Notes: Data are for most serious offense type and represent year-end counts, rounded to the nearest hundred. Read more.

- Violent: The number of people in state prisons with violent offenses more than doubled from 1990 to 2009 (peak), rising 130%. People with violent offenses were 46% of the share of the total state prison population in 1990; by 2009, this share had increased to 53%. From 2009 to 2019, the number of people with violent offenses had dropped by 2%, although the share increased to 58%. From 2009 to 2020, the number decreased by 10%, and the share increased to 63%.
- Property: The number of people with property offenses increased 59% from 1990 to 2006 (peak), rising by more than 100,000. The number decreased 38% from 2006 to 2019 and 49% from 2006 to 2020. The share of people with property offenses in state prisons decreased throughout the study period, from 25% in 1990 to 21% in 2006, 15% in 2019, 14% in 2020.
- Drug: There were more than 116,000 additional people with drug offenses in state prisons in 2006 (peak) compared to 1990, an increase of 78%. The number of people with drug offenses dropped 35% from 2006 to 2019 and 51% from 2006 to 2020. The share of people with drug offenses in state prisons fell from 22% in 1990 to 20% in 2006, 14% in 2019, and 13% in 2020.
- Public Order: Although the growth was not linear, the number of people in state prisons with public order offenses more than tripled from 1990 to the peak in 2017, a rise of 244%. The number decreased 8% from 2017 to 2019 and 31% from 2017 to 2020. The share of people with public order offenses in state prisons rose from 7% in 1990 to 12% in 2017 and 2019, and then dipped to 11% in 2020.

### State Imprisonment Rate by Race, 1990-2020

Note: Data on Native American and Asian adults were not consistently reported and are therefore not presented here.

- White: The state imprisonment rate for White adults increased 61% from 1990 to 2007 (peak). The rate dropped 8% from 2007 to 2019 and 23% from 2007 to 2020. From 2019 to 2020, the rate for White adults fell by 16%.
- Black: The state imprisonment rate for Black adults increased 48% from 1990 to 1998 (peak). The rate dropped 39% from 1998 to 2019 and 48% from 1998 to 2020. From 2019 to 2020, the rate for Black adults fell by 15%.
- Hispanic: The state imprisonment rate for Hispanic adults increased 42% from 1990 to 1997 (peak). The rate dropped 40% from 1997 to 2019 and 51% from 1997 to 2020. From 2019 to 2020, the rate for Hispanic adults fell by 18%.

### State Prison Population by Sex, 1978-2021

- Male: There were more than 1 million additional males in state prison in 2009 (peak) compared to 1978, an increase of 391%. The number of males decreased 11% from 2009 to 2019, 24% from 2009 to 2020, and 26% from 2009 to 2021. There were nearly 333,000 fewer males in state prisons in 2021 compared to 2009.
- Female: The number of females in state prison increased by more than 90,000, a rise of 828% from 1978 to 2008 (peak). The number of females dropped 6% from 2008 to 2019, 27% from 2008 to 2020, and 29% from 2009 to 2021. In 2021, there were nearly 29,000 fewer females in state prisons compared to 2008.

## Federal Prisons

Federal correctional facilities house people who have violated federal laws, often those covering drug trafficking, money laundering, identity theft, racketeering, some sexual crimes, and immigration violations. People incarcerated in federal prisons typically have been given sentences of more than one year.

### Incarceration in Federal Prisons 1960-2021

- Number: The number of people in federal prisons on a given day decreased by 4,000 from 1960 to 1966, after which it rose by nearly 200,000 to its peak in 2012, a 1,032% increase. The number dropped 20% from 2012 to 2019 and 30% from 2012 to 2020. There were nearly 5,000 additional people in federal prisons on a given day in 2021 compared to 2020, a rise of 3%.
- Rate: The federal imprisonment rate decreased from 1960 to 1966, then increased 35% from 1966 to 1977. At that point, it decreased until 1980 and then rose 600% to its peak in 2011. The rate dropped 24% from 2011 to 2019 and 32% from 2011 to 2020. The rate remained flat from 2020 to 2021.

### Federal Prison Population by Offense Type, 1990-2021

Notes: Data are for the most serious offense type and represent counts on September 30; data for some years are rounded to the nearest hundred. Data were not available for 1997 and are omitted. Read more.

- Violent: The number of people in federal prisons with violent offenses increased by 42% from 1990 to 2005 (peak), and then fell 20% from 2005 to 2019, 26% from 2005 to 2020, and 31% from 2005 to 2021. People with violent offenses were 18% of the share of the total federal prison population in 1990; by 2005, this share had decreased to 10%. In 2019, 2020, and 2021 the share of people in federal prison who had been convicted of a violent crime remained stable at just under 8%.
- Property: The number of people in federal prison for property crimes increased 40% from 1990 to 2014 (peak), then fell by 28% from 2014 to 2019, 41% from 2014 to 2020, and 49% from 2014 to 2021. The share of people with property offenses in state prisons decreased throughout the study period, from 14% in 1990 to 6% in 2014 to 5% in 2019 and 2020 and to 4% in 2021.
- Drug: The number of people in federal prisons for drug offenses tripled from 1990 to 2011 (peak), rising 219%. The number of people with drug offenses dropped 27% from 2011 to 2019 and 33% from 2011 to 2020 and 2011 to 2021. The share of people with drug offenses in federal prisons fell slightly from 53% in 1990 to 52% in 2011. In 2019, 2020, and 2021, people convicted of drug offenses comprised roughly 47% of the federal prison population.
- Public Order: The number of people in state prisons for public order offenses increased by 684% from 1990 to 2013 (peak), then decreased 8% from 2013 to 2019 and 16% from 2013 to 2020. From 2020 to 2021, the number increased by almost 400 people, a rise of less than one percent. The share of people with public order offenses in federal prisons rose from 15% in 1990 to 36% in 2013 and 40% in 2019. In both 2020 and 2021, people with public order offenses made up 41% of the federal prison population.

### Federal Prison Population by Sex, 1978-2021

- Male: The number of males in federal prisons rose 628% from 1978 to 2012 (peak), an increase of nearly 176,000 people. The number of males dropped 20% from 2012 to 2019 and 30% from 2012 to 2020. In 2021, there were more than 4,400 additional males in federal prisons on a given day compared to 2020, a rise of 3%.
- Female: The number of females in federal prisons rose by more than 12,300 people, a rise of 675%, from 1978 to 2013 (peak). The number of females dropped 13% from 2013 to 2019 and 28% from 2013 to 2020. In 2021, there were roughly 750 additional females in federal prisons on a given day compared to 2020, a rise of 7%.

## The Incarceration of Women and Juveniles

### Incarcerated Women, 1982-2021

- Number: There were nearly 226,000 women incarcerated in local jails and state and federal prisons in 2018 (peak) compared to 31,500 in 1982, an increase of 618%. The number of incarcerated women decreased 3% from 2018 to 2019 and 32% from 2018 to 2020. From 2020 to 2021, the number of incarcerated women increased by nearly 15,000 to just under 168,500, a rise of 10%.
- Rate: The incarceration rate for women peaked in 2007, although it remained relatively flat from 2004 to 2019. From 1982 to 2007, the incarceration rate rose 431%. The rate then fell 5% from peak to 2019 and fell 33% from peak to 2020. From 2020 to 2021, the rate rose 9%.

### Juveniles Held in Local Jails, 1982-2021

Note: Juveniles charged with certain offenses may be held in local jails rather than in juvenile detention centers.

Number: There were 9,500 juveniles incarcerated in local jails in 1999 (peak), a 456% increase from 1982. This number dropped 69% from the peak to 2019, 76% from 1999 to 2020, and 80% from 1999 to 2021. In 2021, there were 1,900 juveniles incarcerated in local jails-just over 400 more than the low in 1984. There were no reported juveniles being held as adults until 1993. Beginning in 1993, 74% to 91% of juveniles in local jails were being held as adults.

### Juveniles Held in State and Federal Prisons, 2000-2021

Note: Juveniles convicted of violent crimes, including murder, may be tried as adults and housed in adult prisons.

Number: The number of juveniles incarcerated in state and federal prisons decreased 93% from 2000 to 2021, representing 3,600 fewer youth in adult prisons on a given day.

Suggested Citation

Council on Criminal Justice. (2023). The footprint: Tracking the size of America's criminal justice system. https://counciloncj.foleon.com/the-footprint-trends-in-crime-arrests-and-the-total-correctional-population/the-footprint/