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July 16, 2020

Federal prison population, according to BOP report of "Total Federal Inmates," now at 158,838

Another Thursday morning calls for another COVID-era check on the federal Bureau of Prisons' updated "Total Federal Inmates" numbers; we continue to see historic declines, though this week's decline is a bit lower than we have seen in weeks past.  This prior post detailed that, according to BOP's reporting, most weeks through April the federal prison population shrunk around or over 1,000 persons per week; through May, as detailed here, the pace of weekly decline increased to an average of around 1,200 fewer reported prisoners; though June, as detailed here, declines continued at a slightly reduced rate of about 950 fewer persons reported in all federal facilities on average per week.

As of mid-July, we have hit another new historic low as the new BOP numbers at this webpage report "Total Federal Inmates" at 158,838.   This total represents a decline of 854 persons from last week's total of 159,692.  (For more recent context, the BOP reported population dropped from 163,441 (as of June 11) to 162,578 (as of June 18) to 161,640 (as of June 25) to 160,690 (as of July 2).) 

Because of the disconcerting reality that the COVID-19 crisis does not seem to be letting up, especially in large jurisdictions that generate lots of federal criminal cases like Arizona, California, Florida and Texas, I doubt these federal prison population declines are going to reverse anytime soon.  This new AP article discussing prison populations declines more generally highlights that "head counts have dropped largely because prisons stopped accepting new prisoners from county jails to avoid importing the virus, court closures meant fewer people were receiving sentences and parole officers sent fewer people back inside for low-level violations."  It seems to me unlikely that these trends will stop in the near future.

A few of many prior related posts:

July 16, 2020 at 09:06 AM | Permalink


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