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New Survey Charts Drug Offenders in Federal and State Prisons


September-October 1994

In the first survey comparing inmates in Federal and State prisons, the Bureau of Justice Statistics and the Bureau of Prisons found that federal prisoners are three times as likely as state prisoners to have been convicted on drug trafficking charges (Caroline Wolf Harlow, "Comparing Federal and State Prison Inmates, 1991," U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Sept. 1994, NCJ-145864).

58% of Federal prisoners were serving time for a drug offense, while only 21% of State prisoners were convicted on a drug charge. 43% of Federal and 13% of State prisoners were incarcerated for drug trafficking. Conducted in 1991, the survey is the largest ever of U.S. prisoners. Investigators interviewed a nationally representative sample of 6,572 Federal and 13,986 State prisoners.

Some other findings:

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