Home / Reports / 2022 State of the Union / Crime & Justice

Crime & Justice

More than 5.6 million Americans were in prison, jail or under probation or parole when counted in 2020, a 13.3% decrease from 2019.

The COVID-19 pandemic caused fewer local jail admissions, state and federal prison admissions, and declines in the 2020 probation population. ​

Crime & Justice

The total prison population decreased 25% between its 2009 peak and 2020.

Prisoner populations declined 11% between 2009 and 2019, but this decline accelerated in 2020 due to pandemic-driven trial and sentencing delays. ​

Crime & Justice

Half of the prison population decline between 2009 and 2019 was due to fewer prisoners whose most serious offense was a drug crime.

Plus, the proportion of the prison population that was Black or Hispanic decreased from 58% to 55%, while the proportion of the nation's Black or Hispanic population rose from 28% to 31%.​​

Crime & Justice

Arrests per 100,000 people in 2020 had their largest yearly decline in at least 35 years.

Arrests for each of the top 3 most-common offenses dropped, but drug abuse arrests declined the most, seeing a 31% drop in 2020.

Crime & Justice

Violent crime rose 5.6% between 2019 and 2020, while property crime decreased 7.8%.

According to preliminary 2021 data from 85% of police departments, murders increased 29.4% between 2019 and 2020. Burglaries decreased 7.4%. Compared to the 1991 peaks, however, reported violent crime and property crime were down 49.2% and 62.0% in 2020, respectively. ​​

Crime & Justice

The number of police officers per capita fell 5.9% between its 2009 peak and 2020.

There were 934,700 police officers in the United States in 2020, accounting for 6% of all state and local government full-time employees. 2021 police data is not yet available.

Use-of-force data is limited and delayed, with 41% of federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies providing use-of-force data to the FBI in 2021. This represented 54% of officers nationwide.​​

Crime & Justice

Firearm deaths increased 43% from 2010 to 2020, accounting for 1.3% of all deaths in 2020.

Fifty-four percent of all firearm deaths were suicides — 43% were homicides.​

Continue exploring the State of the Union (2022)

Explore more of USAFacts