Prison and Jail Civil Rights/Conditions Cases: Longitudinal Statistics, 1970-2021

26 Pages Posted: 27 Apr 2022 Last revised: 10 Jun 2022

See all articles by Margo Schlanger

Margo Schlanger

University of Michigan Law School

Date Written: April 16, 2022


These tables relating to prison and jail civil rights litigation in federal court update prior-published versions, using data available as of April 6, 2022.

The Tables show longitudinal statistics about case filings, features, and outcomes, for jail/prison civil rights and conditions cases and for the entire federal civil docket, grouped by case category.
List of tables:
Table A: Incarcerated Population and Prison/Jail Civil Rights Filings, FY1970–FY2021
Table B: Pro Se Litigation in U.S. District Courts by Case Type, Cases Terminated Fiscal Years 1996–2021
Table C: Outcomes in Prisoner Civil Rights Cases in Federal District Court, Fiscal Years 1988–2021
Table D: Outcomes in Federal District Court Cases by Case Type, Fiscal Year 2021
Table E: Prisoner Civil Rights Litigated Victories, FY 2012
Table F: Incidence of Court Orders, Local Jails and State Prisons, 1983–2006, 2019
Table G: Change in Prisoner Civil Rights Filings in U.S. District Court and Filing Rates, by State, Fiscal Years 1995 vs. 2012, 2012 vs. 2019, and 1995 vs. 2019
Table H: Days to Disposition, District Court Cases by Fiscal Year of Filing, 1988–2021

This updated the version posted April 27, 2021 (which remains available at ttps:// and Margo Schlanger, Trends in Prisoner Litigation, as the PLRA Enters Adulthood, 5 U.C. IRVINE L. REV. 153 (2015). (Table E is the same as in those prior sources)

Replication code and resulting datasets are posted at

Keywords: jail, prison, civil rights, litigation, prisoners' rights

JEL Classification: K14, K41

Suggested Citation

Schlanger, Margo, Prison and Jail Civil Rights/Conditions Cases: Longitudinal Statistics, 1970-2021 (April 16, 2022). U of Michigan Public Law Research Paper No. 22-010, U of Michigan Law & Econ Research Paper No. 22-010, Available at SSRN: or

Margo Schlanger (Contact Author)

University of Michigan Law School ( email )

625 South State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1215
United States

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