Re-Entry Statistics Now Available on BJS Web Site

By Geter, Leon T. | Corrections Today, August 2003 | Go to article overview

Re-Entry Statistics Now Available on BJS Web Site


Geter, Leon T., Corrections Today


According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, at least 95 percent of all state inmates will be released from prison at some point; nearly 80 percent will be released to parole supervision. After years of prison populations expanding, the number of offenders being released is growing. In 2000, 571,000 offenders were released from state prison, a 41 percent increase over the 405,400 offenders who were released in 1990. In 2001, an estimated 595,000 state inmates were released to the community.

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Faced with a dramatic increase in the number of inmates re-entering society, Attorney General John Ashcroft announced that several federal agencies are collaborating through the new Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative (visit www.ojp.usdoj.gov/reentry), which provides grant funds to correctional institutions and communities for programs that will help ex-offenders make a successful transition to society.

To help keep track of this issue, BJS, the statistical arm of the U.S. Department of Justice, has launched a new Web site section titled Reentry Trends in the United States at www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/reentry/reentry.htm. BJS statisticians have compiled all the relevant data from several surveys and numerous BJS reports in one location. The result is a concise, statistical analysis of trends of interest to administrators of correctional facilities, parole officers, policy-makers and academicians. Topics include:

* Growth in state prison and parole populations;

* Releases from state prison, including the number of releases, method of release, most serious offense and time served;

* Entries to state parole;

* Success rates for state parolees, including the number of discharges and parole violators returning to state prison;

* Recidivism, including rearrest of released inmates, reconviction and return to prison;

* Characteristics of released inmates; and

* Federal supervised release.

The analyses present key points in bulleted format, accompanied by graphs that illustrate the trends (see Figure 1). For example, the page on the growth in the state prison and parole population reports that, on average, the prison population increased 5.3 percent per year between 1990 and 2001, while the state parole population rose 2.4 percent per year during that same period. A tabular format of the numbers for each graphic are available by clicking on the graph. A downloadable spreadsheet version of each table is also available. Additional easy-to-use features include a page of highlights, definitions of key terms and one-click access to a printer-friendly PDF version of the section's entire contents. BJS plans to update this material as new data become available.

In addition, Reentry Trends provides quick links to additional national, state and federal correctional data in downloadable spreadsheets. Other links take users directly to related sections of the BJS Web site that focus on offenders and probation and parole.

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BJS Re-Entry Data Sources

The analyses presented in Reentry Trends are based on data drawn from the following surveys and reports, which can be accessed online at www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/reentry/addinfo.htm#sources. Printed copies of the reports may be ordered at www.puborder.ncjrs.org.

Surveys

Annual Parole Survey. Collects counts of the total number of people supervised in the community on Jan. 1 and Dec. 31 and a count of the number entering and leaving supervision during the collection year.

Federal Justice Statistics Program. Constructed from source data files provided by the Executive Office for United States Attorneys, the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, the United States Sentencing Commission and the Federal Bureau of Prisons. …

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Re-Entry Statistics Now Available on BJS Web Site
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