Criminal Justice Fact Sheet

Source

Incarceration Trends in America

  • Between 1980 and 2015, the number of people incarcerated in America increased from roughly 500,000 to over 2.2 million.

  • Today, the United States makes up about 5% of the world’s population and has 21% of the world’s prisoners.

  • 1 in every 37 adults in the United States, or 2.7% of the adult population, is under some form of correctional supervision.

Racial Disparities in Incarceration

  • In 2014, African Americans constituted 2.3 million, or 34%, of the total 6.8 million correctional population.

  • African Americans are incarcerated at more than 5 times the rate of whites.

  • The imprisonment rate for African American women is twice that of white women.

  • Nationwide, African American children represent 32% of children who are arrested,
    42% of children who are detained, and 52% of children whose cases are judicially
    waived to criminal court.

  • Though African Americans and Hispanics make up approximately 32% of the US
    population, they comprised 56% of all incarcerated people in 2015.

  • If African Americans and Hispanics were incarcerated at the same rates as whites,
    prison and jail populations would decline by almost 40%

Drug Sentencing Disparities

  • In the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, about 17 million whites and 4 million African Americans reported having used an illicit drug within the last month.

  • African Americans and whites use drugs at similar rates, but the imprisonment rate of African Americans for drug charges is almost 6 times that of whites.

  • African Americans represent 12.5% of illicit drug users, but 29% of those arrested for drug offenses and 33% of those incarcerated in state facilities for drug offenses.

Effects of Incarceration

  • A criminal record can reduce the likelihood of a callback or job offer by nearly 50 percent. The negative impact of a criminal record is twice as large for African American applicants.

  • Infectious diseases are highly concentrated in corrections facilities: 15% of jail inmates and 22% of prisoners – compared to 5% of the general population – reported ever having tuberculosis, Hepatitis B and C, HIV/AIDS, or other STDs.

  • In 2012 alone, the United States spent nearly $81 billion on corrections.

  • Spending on prisons and jails has increased at triple the rate of spending on Pre‐K‐12 public education in the last thirty years.

Fair Chance Hiring (FCH) Fact Sheet

The Right to Be Free from

the Unnecessary Use of Force by the Police

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