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The Third Branch

Corrections data reveals prison demographics

In recent years, the Wisconsin Department of Corrections has been moving forward with an effort to take very large and complex datasets, validate them, analyze them, and then present information in an understandable form that accurately reflects trends and patterns of the adult prison population.

The purpose of this effort is to provide information to department staff, policy makers, criminal justice partners, and the public to help better inform them of the adult prison component of the criminal justice system. Information presented here is a sample of data currently being analyzed on admissions, point-in-time populations, and releases from prison during the last 15 to 25 years. 

The department shared some of these findings at the request of The Third Branch with the idea that judges and others involved in the justice system may find the information interesting or valuable.

This page and the next four pages of this edition of The Third Branch include information compiled by the department on the adult prison population, including demographics, offense types and admission types.

The author of this work is Megan Jones, Ph.D., a research analyst in the office of the secretary at the Wisconsin Department of Corrections.

For other Department of Corrections statistics, such as recidivism rates, reincarceration rates, and other data trends, visit       

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