10 Startling Facts About Incarceration in the U.S.A

2.2 million people are currently residing in U.S. jails or prisons

Roughly 724 out of every 100,000 people in the U.S.A are incarcerated; this is the highest incarceration rate in the world.

Half of all inmates in federal prisons are serving time for non-violent drug offenses

Often times those dealing with drugs in some fashion benefit more from rehabilitative services than from incarceration.

There are more jails in the U.S.A than college’s

Our punitive system has more centers of punishment than our nation has centers of higher education, that’s a problem

It costs, on average, $29,000 to house an inmate in federal prison for one year.

That is ~$20,000 more than the national average for in-state college tuition.

Incarceration costs U.S. taxpayers $70 billion annually

That’s enough to send ~7,000,000 people to their state college

Women’s incarceration rate has increased 800% in the last 30 years.

This is mostly due to the war on drugs as prisons became housing for drug offenders rather than violent criminals.

Black offenders receive longer sentences than white offenders FOR THE SAME CRIMES

According to the U.S. sentencing commission, black offenders receive 10% longer sentences than white offenders when they commit the same crime.

5.3 Million Americans cannot vote due to their past felony conviction.

In the “Land of the Free”, free never seems to mean free. After an individual has served their sentence they are still denied basic U.S. rights for decades after.

Post incarceration, wages increase 21% slower for black formerly incarcerated individuals than for formerly incarcerated white individuals.

The job market post-incarceration is extremely difficult across the board but it disproportionately effects minority individuals in its difficulty.


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