Sentencing and Corrections - Probation And Parole

percent probationers inmates population

At the end of 2002 nearly 4.74 million adults were on probation or parole in the United States, up from 3.2 million at the end of 1990. The total number of probationers in 2002 was 3,995,165. Fifty percent were convicted of felonies, 49 percent of misdemeanors, and 1 percent of other types of infractions. Twenty-four percent of probationers had drug law violations as their most serious offense. (See Table 6.17.)
Of probationers in 2002, 23 percent were female, compared to 21 percent in 1995. Whites comprised 55 percent of probationers in 2002, a slight increase from 53 percent in 1995, while blacks accounted for 31 percent of probationers, the same percentage as in 1995. In 2002 probationers of Hispanic origin represented 12 percent of all probationers, down from 14 percent in 1995.
In 2002, 753,141 adults were on parole. Almost all offenders on parole (96 percent) had served a felony sentence of one year or more. More than half of parolees in 2002 received mandatory release from prison as the result of a sentencing statute (requirement) or because of good-time provisions. Thirty-nine percent received parole as the result of a decision by a state parole board, 59 percent fewer than in 1990. Fourteen percent of all parolees in 2002 were women, up from 10 percent in 1995. Thirty-nine percent of adult parolees were white, 42 percent were black, with Hispanics making up 18 percent of parolees. (See Table 6.18.)
TABLE 6.14
Inmates receiving mental health treatment in state confinement facilities, by facility characteristic, June 30, 2000
Number of inmates receiving—
24-hour mental health careTherapy/counselingPsychotropic medications
Facility characteristicNumberPercentNumberPercentNumberPercent
Total1 16,9861.8%122,37612.9%95,1149.8%
Facility operation
Authority to house
Males only13,0641.5%100,37111.9%74,7368.7%
Females only8301.514,74427.112,11922.1
Security level
Facility size2
1,500 or more6,2981.4%59,97012.8%45,2839.3%
Fewer than 100782.331311.02828.8
1Excludes inmates in mental health treatment in Florida for whom only statewide totals were reported.
2Based on the average daily population between July 1, 1999, and June 30, 2000.
SOURCE: Allen J. Beck and Laura M. Maruschak, Table 4: "Inmates Receiving Mental Health Treatment in State Confinement Facilities, by Facility Characteristic, June 30, 2000," in Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report: Mental Health Treatment in State Prisons, 2000, U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Washington, DC, July 2001
TABLE 6.15
Educational attainment of state and federal prison inmates, 1997 and 1991; local jail inmates, 1996 and 1989; probationers, 1995; and the general population, 1997
Prison inmates
StateFederalLocal jail inmates
Educational attainment199719911997199119961989ProbationersGeneral population
8th grade or less14.2%14.3%12.0%11.0%13.1%15.6%8.4%7.2%
Some high school25.526.914.512.333.438.222.211.2
High school diploma20.521.827.025.925.924.034.833.2
Postsecondary/some college9.010.115.818.810.310.318.826.4
College graduate or more2.
Note: Probationers have been excluded from the general population. General population includes the noninstitutional population 18 or older. Detail may not add to 100% due to rounding.
*General Educational Development certificate.
…Not available in the Current Population Survey.
SOURCE: Caroline Wolf Harlow, "Table 1: Educational Attainment for State and Federal Prison Inmates, 1997 and 1991, Local Jail Inmates, 1996 and 1989, Probationers, 1995, and the General Population, 1997," in "Education and Correctional Populations," Bureau of Justice Statistics Bulletin, January 2003

Federal Clemency

The U.S. president is authorized under the constitution to grant pardons and commutations to those convicted of federal crimes. The U.S. Pardon Attorney evaluates all applications, investigates the cases, and makes recommendations. A pardon occurs after an individual has served his sentence and allows that person to regain any civil rights and trade or professional licenses he or she may have lost due to being a felon. A commutation reduces the prison time of an individual now serving his or her sentence. Between 1953 and 2002 there have been 5,275 pardons granted and 585 commutations. (See Table 6.19.)

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