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Incarcerated Felon Population by Type of Crime Committed, 1974-2012


Prison towerAs of 2012, there were 1,511,497 people incarcerated in US state and federal prisons and 744,500 people incarcerated in US county jails.

Felons with a sentence of one year or less normally serve their term of incarceration in county jails along with other inmates convicted of misdemeanors.


I. Combined State & Federal: Number of Sentenced Prisoners
Percentage of State and Federal Prisoners
Offense 1974 1986 1997 2000 2008 2010 2012
Violent 52.5% 64.2% 46.4% 47.2% 47.3% 47.7% 47.7%
Property 33.3% 22.9% 14% 19.1% 17.0% 16.7% 17.1%
Drug 10.4% 8.8% 26.9% 25.3% 22.4% 21.7% 20.5%
Public-order 1.9% 3.3% 8.9% 7.8% 11.9% 13.4% 13.8%
Other/unspecified 2.0% 0.9% 3.7% 0.4% 1.2% 0.6% 0.7%

Total Number of State and Federal Prisoners
Offense Category 2000
(% of total)
2008
(% of total)
2010
(% of total)
2012
(% of total)
Violent 633,740 (47.2%) 730,833 (47.3%) 740,000 (47.7%) 721,200 (47.7%)
Property 256,135 (19.1%) 262,880 (17.0%) 259,800 (16.7%) 258,300 (17.1%)
Drug 338,076 (25.3%) 346,479 (22.4%) 336,300 (21.7%) 309,100 (20.5%)
Public-order 104,725 (7.8%) 185,198 (11.9%) 207,500 (13.4%) 209,000 (13.8%)
Other/unspecified 5,363 (0.4%) 19,194 (1.2%) 9,000 (0.6%) 11,200 (0.7%)
Totals: 1,338,039 1,544,634 1,552,600 1,511,497

II. State Jurisdiction: Number of Sentenced Prisoners
Offense Category 2000 2008 2010 2012
Violent a 620,000 (51.4%) 715,400 (52.4%) 725,000 (53.2%) 707,500 (53.8%)
Property b 246,000 (20.4%) 251,800 (18.4%) 249,500 (18.3%) 247,100 (18.8%)
Drug 263,800 (21.9%) 251,400 (18.4%) 237,000 (17.4%) 210,200 (16.0%)
Public-order c 72,400 (6%) 125,900 (9.2%) 142,500 (10.5%) 140,200 (10.7%)
Other/unspecified d 4,100 (0.3%) 17,800 (1.3%) 7,900 (0.6%) 10,000 (0.8%)
Total State Prisoners: 1,206,300 1,362,300 1,361,900 1,314,900

Notes:
a Includes murder, manslaughter, non-negligent manslaughter, rape, other sexual assault, robbery, assault, and other violent crimes.
b Includes burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft, fraud, and other property crimes.
c Includes weapons, drunk driving, court offenses, commercialized vice, morals and decency offenses, liquor law violations, and other public-order offenses.
d Includes juvenile and other unspecified offense categories.

III. Federal Jurisdiction: Number of Sentenced Prisoners
Offense Category 2000 2008 2010 2012
Violent a 13,740 (10.4%) 15,483 (8.5%) 15,000 (7.9%) 13,700 (10.2%)
Property b 10,135 (7.7%) 11,080 (6.0%) 10,300 (5.4%) 11,200 (7.4%)
Drug 74,276 (56.4%) 95,079 (52%) 95,079 (52%) 98,900 (56.0%)
Public-order c 32,325 (24.5%) 59,298 (32.5%) 59,298 (32.5%) 68,800 (25.8%)
Other/unspecified d 1,263 (1.0%) 1,394 (1.0%) 1,394 (1.0%) 1,200 (0.6%)
Total Federal Prisoners: 131,739 182,334 190,700 193,861

Notes:
a Includes murder, negligent, and non-negligent manslaughter, robbery, and other violent crimes.
b Includes burglary, fraud, and other property crimes.
c Includes immigration, weapons, and other public-order offenses.
d Includes offenses not classified.

IV. Sources
  1. Jeff Manza, PhD, and Christopher Uggen, PhD, Locked Out: Felon Disenfranchisement and American Democracy, 2006

  2. The United States Department of Justice (USDOJ), "Prisoners in 2009" (777 KB) , bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov, Dec. 2010

  3. The United States Department of Justice (USDOJ), "Prisoners in 2011" (863 KB) , bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov, Dec. 2012

  4. The United States Department of Justice (USDOJ), "Prisoners in 2013," (1.8 MB) , bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov, Sep. 2014

  5. The United States Department of Justice (USDOJ), "Correctional Populations in the United States, 2011" (702 KB) , bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov, Dec. 2012

  6. The United States Department of Justice (USDOJ), "Correctional Populations in the United Stated, 2013" (417 KB) , bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov, Dec. 2014