Reentry Trends in the U.S.
by Incarcerated Flavors
At least 95% of all State prisoners will be released from prison at some point; nearly 80% will be released to parole supervision
Despite a decline in prison release rates from 1990 to 2000, the number of prisoners released each year continued to grow.
- In 2001, 592,000 offenders were released from State prison, a 46% increase over the 405,400 offenders that were released in 1990. In 2002, a projected 595,000 State inmates will be released to the community.
- The release rate of State prisoners declined from 37% in 1990 to 31% in 1994. Since 1994, the rate of release has remained stable and was 33% in 2001.
- Release rate: the number of releases per 100 sentenced prisoners at the beginning of each year, plus the number admitted during the year.
- Five States (California, Florida, Illinois, New York, and Texas) accounted for nearly half of all releases from State prison in 2001.
Releases by county of jurisdiction
- The top 50 counties in participating NCRP States accounted for 38% of all releases from State prison in 2001.
- In 2001, Los Angeles County, CA, had the largest number of releases from prison (37,080), followed by Cook County, IL, (17,480), and San Bernardino, CA, (10,183).
- California had 18 counties in the top 50, followed by Florida (5), New Jersey (4), New York (4), and Texas (4). These 35 counties accounted for 29% of all releases from State prisons during 2001.
Since 1990, mandatory parole releases have increased, while discretionary releases have decreased.
To view data, click on the chart.
- Discretionary releases to parole dropped from 39% of releases in 1990 to 24% in 2000.
- Discretionary parole exists when a parole board has authority to conditionally release prisoners based on a statutory or administrative determination of eligibility.
- Mandatory releases to parole have steadily increased from 116,857 in 1990 to 221,414 in 2000 (from 29% of all State prison releases to 39%).
- Mandatory parole generally occurs in jurisdictions using determinate sentencing statutes in which inmates are conditionally released from prison after serving a specified portion of their original sentence minus any good time earned.
- About 112,000 State prisoners were released unconditionally through an expiration of their sentence in 2000, up from 51,288 in 1990.
- 16 States have abolished discretionary parole for all offenders