Facts and Trends

Along with having the Word of Christ, it is helpful to have the data to assist in the advocacy and awareness of Correctional ministries.

Collections of Data for assistance in Correctional Ministries

Time Served in State Prisons, 2018  This report released in March 2021 by the Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics indicates that two-thirds of offenders released from state prison in 2018 served less than 2 years in prison before their initial release. 

Disabilities Reported by Prisoners: Survey of Prison Inmates 2016  This report released in March 2021 by the Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics indicates that nearly 2 in 5 (38%) state and federal prisoners had at least one disability in 2016.

Veterans in Prison: Survey of Prison Inmates in 2016  This report released in March 2021 by the Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics indicates that an estimated 107,400 veterans were serving time in state and federal prisons in 2016. 

What the data says (and doesn’t say) about crime in the United States This research (released 11/20/20), from the Pew Research Institute, analyzes data from the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) and Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS).  This research study uses information from these sources to obtain a good picture of U.S. violent and property crime rates and how they have changed over time.

The Sentencing Project Fact Sheet:  Incarcerated Women and Girls  Over the past quarter century, there has been a profound change in the involvement of women within the criminal justice system. This is the result of more expansive law enforcement efforts, stiffer drug sentencing laws, and post-conviction barriers to reentry that uniquely affect women. The female incarcerated population stands over seven times higher than in 1980. More than 60% of women in state prisons have a child under the age of 18.

Global Prison Trends, 2018 Every year, Global Prison Trends by Penal Reform International (in collaboration with the Thailand Institute of Justice) provides us with a global view on the state of prisons.

2018 Update on Prisoner Recidivism: A 9-Year Follow-Up Period (2005-2014)

Federal Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2015-2016 (released January, 2019) This report describes the annual activity, workloads, and outcomes of the federal criminal justice system from arrest to imprisonment.

NIC Myths & Facts: Why Incarceration Is Not the Best Way to Keep Communities Safe

International Statistics on Crime and Justice

NIC Jail Incarceration Trends

Incarceration Trends

Long-Term Sentences: Time to Reconsider the Scale of Punishment by Marc Mauer
Unduly long prison terms are counterproductive for public safety and contribute to the dynamic of diminishing returns as the prison system has expanded.

Time Served: The High Cost, Low Return of Longer Prison Terms The length of time served in prison has increased markedly over the last two decades, according to a new study by Pew’s Public Safety Performance Project. Prisoners released in 2009 served an average of nine additional months in custody, or 36 percent longer, than offenders released in 1990. These extended prison sentences came at a price: prisoners released from incarceration in 2009 cost states $23,300 per offender–or a total of over $10 billion nationwide. More than half of that amount was for non-violent offenders.

5 Facts About the Death Penalty
A Pew Research Center survey showed an uptick in the share of Americans who favor capital punishment for those convicted of murder. Over the long term, however, public support for the death penalty has declined significantly, as has the number of executions in the United States. As the debate over the death penalty continues in the U.S. and worldwide, read about five facts about the issue.

First Step Act 2018
On December 21, 2018, President Trump signed into law the First Step Act of 2018 (P.L. 115-391). The act was the culmination of several years of congressional debate about what Congress might do to reduce the size of the federal prison population while also creating mechanisms to maintain public safety. This report provides an overview of the provisions of the act..

Top Trends in States Criminal Justice Reform
The United States is a world leader in incarceration and keeps nearly 7 million persons under criminal justice supervision. More than 2.2 million are in prison or jail, while 4.6 million are monitored in the community on probation or parole. More punitive sentencing laws and policies, not increases in crime rates, have
produced this high rate of incarceration. Ending mass incarceration will require changing sentencing policies and practices, scaling back the collateral consequences of conviction, and addressing racial disparities in the criminal justice system. In recent years most states have enacted reforms designed to
reduce the scale of incarceration and the impact of the collateral consequences of a felony conviction. This briefing paper describes key reforms undertaken in 2019 prioritized by The Sentencing Project.

Winnable Criminal Justice Reforms
A Prison Policy Initiative briefing on promising state reform issues for 2020