Incarcerated Felon Population by Type of Crime Committed


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