Figures from the U.S. Justice Department show the number of people on parole or probation nationally reached a record 4.5 million in 1999. However, Missouri’s numbers are going the other way. Tim Kniest of the state Department of Corrections says probation numbers dropped from 49,721 in January 1999 to 48,457 this January. The number of people on parole is also down. Kniest doesn’t have a ready explanation for the probation numbers, since those inmates come from the court system.