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Crime & Justice

Over 6.4 million Americans were in prison, jail, or under probation or parole when counted in 2018, though an estimated 10.7 million people were admitted to jail throughout the year.

Nearly 90% of prisoners were in state prisons. The total number of prisoners in 2019 was down 11% from the 2009 peak due to shrinking state and federal prison populations.

Crime & Justice

The total prison population decreased 11% between the 2009 peak and 2019, with decreases in federal, California, and New York state prison populations accounting for 45% of the decline.

Federal prison populations declined 16% in the same period and California and New York's both decreased 23%.

Crime & Justice

Fifty-seven percent of the decline in prison population between 2009 and 2018 was due to fewer prisoners whose most serious offense was a drug crime.

Additionally, the proportion of the prison population that was Black or Hispanic decreased from 58% to 55%, while the proportion of the nation's population that was Black or Hispanic increased from 28% to 31% in that same time.

Crime & Justice

Arrests have decreased every year since 2006.

Arrests for drug abuse violations continued to outnumber arrests for assault and DUIs as of 2019.​

Crime & Justice

Reported property and violent crime rates were down 50% in 2019 compared to their 1991 peaks.

Violent crime rates reached a 20-year low in 2014 and remained near that in 2019. However, preliminary 2020 data from 64% of police departments shows murders trending roughly 20% above 2019 levels. Property crimes are trending roughly 8% below 2019 levels. ​

Crime & Justice

The number of police officers per capita fell 9% between its 2008 peak and 2019.

Police account for 6% of all full-time employees for state and local governments. ​

Police use-of-force data is extremely limited and delayed, with 27% of police departments reporting use-of-force data to the FBI in 2019. This represented 42% of officers nationwide.

Crime & Justice

Firearm deaths increased 18% from 2014 to 2018, accounting for 1.4% of all deaths in that time.

There were nearly 40,000 firearm deaths in 2018, more of which were suicides than homicides.

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