Roughly 12 million people are incarcerated each year in the United States, including prison inmates, people awaiting court dates in county jails, and those serving overnight stays for minor offenses, according to Prison Policy Initiative. Approximately 2.4 million people are incarcerated on any given day in the United States.
While not all people are incarcerated for a great length of time, included in that number are immigration detainees, military prisoners and juvenile offenders. Prisons in U.S. territories as well as tribal jails also add to the number of people incarcerated each year. Fragmented reporting of numbers makes it difficult to give an exact number that includes incarceration on every level, reports Prison Policy Initiative.