Federal Inmate Statistics

Statistics on Inmates from the Federal Bureau of Prisons


According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, there are over 140,000 federal inmates. Of these nearly half (46%) are in prison for drug offenses. The second most commonly charged offense involves weapons, explosives, or arson and accounts for 20.6% of the total inmate population in federal prisons.

As indicated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons:

  • There are 66,949 inmates currently serving time for drug offenses, representing 46.2% of the total federal prison population. 
  • There are 29,813 inmates serving time for weapons, explosives or arson offenses, accounting for 20.6% of the total number of inmates in federal prison. 
  • 16,129 inmates are serving a federal prison sentence for sex offenses, representing 11.2% of the total number of prisoners.
  • There are nearly an equal number of inmates serving time for burglary, larceny, property offenses as there are serving federal prison sentences for homicide, aggravated assault and kidnapping offenses, 7,268 and 7,265, respectively.

Prison Overcrowding and COVID-19

At every level jails and prisons are overcrowded. Whether it is local, state or federal, detention centers are filled. COVID-19 forced the release of many prisoners, as jails and prisons quickly became hotbeds for spreading the virus. 

Across the country, prisons and other supervisory agencies have sought jail alternatives to continued monitoring of inmates after release. One of the most popular jail alternatives has been house arrest and electronic monitoring which allows the monitoring agency to keep track of an inmate’s whereabouts.

According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, they currently have 7,505 inmates on home confinement. Since March 26, 2020, they have placed 29,937 inmates on home confinement, this number includes a significant portion that completed their sentence while placed on home confinement.