The version posted April 27, 2021 (which remains available at was an Appendix to Slamming the Courthouse Door: 25 Years of Evidence for Repealing the Prison Litigation Reform Act, Prison Policy Initiative (April 26, 2021), at It remains available at, but this version updates and supersedes that one.


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


Law | Law Enforcement and Corrections | Litigation

Date of this Version