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Tables on arrests, imprisonment, and probation and parole by race

Submitted by on August 11, 2012 – 3:43 amNo Comment

I’m working on some projects that involve examining U.S. criminal justice data and have created some tables in the process. Using and calculating data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), here are three tables that speak to the racial patterns of policing and incarceration in the United States.  All tables are available in PDF format.

The first table is on arrests from 1980-2009, which compares arrests and arrest rates among different racial groups. Note that because Hispanics or Latinos were not included in the BJS data, they were not included in the table. The data source that the BJS draws from in this case, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Report, does not separately count Hispanic as an ethnicity and those who may identify as Hispanic or Latino can be found among the racial groups included without being explicitly identified as such. For more information about the methodology and definitions, go here.

The second table is on prisoners under the jurisdiction of federal and state correctional authorities between 2000 and 2010. Here, the number of people incarcerated and the imprisonment rates for race-sex combinations, as well as some calculations of percentage shares, are provided.  For this data, the BJS utilizes figures from the National Prisoner Statistics (NPS) series.   Unlike the data source for arrests, Hispanics are included as a separate category but Asians, Native Alaskans, and Native Americans are not, although they are included in the overall total.  As you will note, I created an “Other” category, which is operationalized to include these groups and others not explicitly identified in the available racial categories.  For more information on the methodology, go here.

The third table is on adults under community supervision in 2010, which may include probation or parole, and provides raw numbers as well as percentages of those on probation or parole by racial group.  The data used for this table comes from BJS’s Annual Probation Survey and Annual Parole Survey and unlike the table on arrests from 1980-2009, includes Hispanic or Latino as well as Two or More Races as separate categories of racial identity. Moreover, unlike the arrests data, in which Pacific Islanders are grouped with Asians under the category of Asian Pacific Islanders, in the surveys on adults under community supervision, Pacific Islanders are grouped with Native Hawaiians.  To learn about the methodology, go here.

Feel free to use these tables for your own research, writing, and activist projects but please make sure to include the citations provided at the bottom of each.





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