Wednesday, January 20, 2010

One in 100

One in 100. That's the number of Americans who were behind bars in 2008, according to the U.S. Department of Justice Statistics, a staggering 2.3 million. (This number does not include juvenile offenders).

That same year, the total number of people under the umbrella of the U.S. correctional system (locked up, on probation or on parole) was 7.3 million. That is one in every 31 adults.

According to the International Center for Prison Statistics, the U.S. leads the world in incarceration of its people:

U.S. 756 out of every 100,000
Russia 629 out of every 100,000
China 119 out of every 100,000

These are shameful statistics that unfairly target minorities and the mentally ill. According to research by The Sentencing Project, 1 out of 8 black males ages 25-29 is currently locked up in the United States. And, some figures estimate that 300,000 U.S. prisoners are mentally ill.

Our costly "Get Tough On Crime" policies have not reduced the rate of recidivism or made our cities safer. Americans need to look at alternatives to incarceration for non-violent offenders.

* * * * *

Coming Soon. The Women Of Block 12: Voices From A Jail Ministry

* * * * *

1 comment:

  1. These stats are unbelievable; even hard to imagine. So sad.