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Probation and Parole in the United States, 2020

NCJ Number
Danielle Kaeble
Date Published
December 2021
29 pages

This report is the 29th in a series that began in 1981. It includes characteristics of the population such as sex, race or ethnicity, and most serious offense of adult U.S. residents under correctional supervision in the community. The report details how people move onto and off community supervision, such as completing their term of supervision, being incarcerated, absconding, or other unsatisfactory outcomes while in the community. Findings are based on data from BJS’s 2020 Annual Probation Survey, Annual Parole Survey, and Federal Justice Statistics Program.


  • At yearend 2020, an estimated 3,890,400 adults were under community supervision (probation or parole), down 276,500 from January 1, 2020.
  • An estimated 1 in 66 adult U.S. residents were under community supervision at the end of 2020.
  • The adult probation population declined 8.3% during 2020, the largest annual decrease since 1980 when BJS began the probation collection.
  • During 2020, the probation population decreased in 42 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. federal system and increased in 7 states.