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May 21, 2020

Federal prison population continues historic drop with BOP now reporting 166,647 total federal inmates

Another Thursday brings another new check on the federal Bureau of Prisons' updated general population numbers (though BOP took longer than usual to get the updated numbers posted today).  In prior posts here and here, I highlighted that, according to BOP's reporting of the numbers, throughout the month of April the federal prison population was shrinking about 1,000 persons per week.  We are now three weeks into May, and the new numbers at this webpage continue to show weekly declines this month checking in around 1,200 on average: the population dropped from 170,435 (as of April 30) to 169,080 (as of May 7, 2020) to 167,803 (as of May 14, 2020) to now a BOP reported total of 166,647.

As I have detailed before, a reduced inflow of prisoners — due, I presume, to many sentencings and reportings to prisons being delayed — is likely playing the largest role in the significant population declines in recent months.  But compassionate release and other outflows are also likely a part of the story as well, and I continue to wonder what the new normal for the federal prison population might look like in the wake of the remarkable disruptions caused by the coronoavirus. 

A few of many prior related posts:

May 21, 2020 at 06:24 PM | Permalink


Am a mother of a inmate in plasatine texas concern for his life and others that are incarcerated my son is offered but not violent he went in for a murder charge driving accident leaving two kids that are his and two that are not his

Posted by: Claudia Gonzales | May 26, 2020 5:14:37 PM

Thank you for all you do for us when a family member goes to prison the family with that inmate

Posted by: Claudia Gonzales | May 26, 2020 5:16:12 PM

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