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3.9M Americans on Probation, Parole

August 17, 1998

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The number of Americans on criminal probation or parole hit a record 3.9 million at the end of 1997 as the growth rate in that group remained about average, the Justice Department reports.

Some 110,000 people were added to the total last year, a 2.9 percent increase compared with an average annual increase of 3.0 percent since 1990, the department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics said Sunday.

By the end of 1997, nearly one out of every 35 adults in the United States was in prison, in jail or on probation or parole _ a total of 5.7 million adults, or nearly 2.9 percent of the population, the report said.

Felony convictions accounted for 54 percent of the 3,261,888 adults on probation at yearend. Twenty-eight percent had been convicted of misdemeanors, 14 percent for driving while intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol and 4 percent for other offenses.

There were 685,033 adults on parole, a conditional, supervised release following a prison term. The vast majority, 96 percent, had been imprisoned on felony convictions.

More than 1.6 million probationers and 400,000 parolees were released from supervision in 1997, the report said. During that year, 18 percent of the probationers and 41 percent of the parolees who were released from supervision wound up incarcerated again because of a rule violation or a new offense.

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