The Reach Out and Touch Prison Ministry

Incarceration Statistics

Incarceration Statistics for the United States of America

  • According to the US Bureau of Justice, 2,266,800 adults were incarcerated in US prisons and jails at the end of 2011. Additionally, 4,814,200 adults were on either probation or parole. This means that, in total, nearly 7 million adults or 2.9% of the US population were under some form of correctional supervision at the end of 2011.

  • Said differently, in the United States more than 1 in 100 adults in the United States are in prison or jail and 1 in 31 are under some form of correctional supervision

  • The United States while having only 5% of the world's population has over 25% of the world's incarcerated population.

  • The United States has the highest documented incarceration rate in the world followed by Russia and Rwanda and the United States incarcerates more of its citizens then the 35 European countries combined 

  • Over the last 40 years the US incarcerated population has increased 350% while the overall US population has increased by only 33%

  • African Americans comprise nearly 40% of the prison and jail population while accounting for only 14% of the overall US population. Similarly, Hispanics comprise 21% of the prison population while comprising 14% of the overall US population. In actual fact, the United States incarcerates a larger proportion of its black population than South Africa did during apartheid

  • Young African American men are 6 times more likely to be incarcerated than young white men and 37% of African American men without an education will end up in prison. 

  • Despite the US Government spending over $80Bn annually on prisons and jails, 68% of prisoners released from prison will be rearrested within 3 years and 52% will go back to prison. 


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