According to the press release, the Bureau of Justice Statistics reported that for the first time since it started to collect data in 1980 the adult prison population in the United States is down, as shown by the numbers for 2009. Could this be a sign of a step in the right direction?
Although comparatively small, decreases in the probation population (down by 40,079 offenders) and the parole population (down by 5,526 offenders) were the first observed decreases since BJS began annual data collections on these populations in 1980. At yearend 2009, 4,203,967 adults were on probation, and 819,308 were under parole or other post-custody supervision.
While more than half of states reported decreases in admissions to prison, California reported the largest decline (11,122 fewer admissions), which was about four times the decline reported in any other state. The decrease in admissions in California was led by a drop in the number of parole violators returned to prison (down 9,668).
Related Statistical Reports:
Correctional Populations in the United States, 2009
This report presents data on the number of adults under some form of correctional supervision in the United States, including probation, parole, and jail and prison incarceration, at the end of 2009.
Probation and Parole in the United States, 2009
This report presents data on the number of adults under community supervision (parole and probation) at the end of 2009.
Prisoners in 2009
This annual report presents data on the number of prisoners under jurisdiction of federal or state correctional authorities as of the end of 2009.