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The Criminalization of America

The Criminalization of America How more and more laws are becoming criminal; more people are ending up in jail over minor, non-violent crimes. Number of criminal offenses in the U.S. Code3) 4.500 4,000 In the last 20 years, nearly all states in the U.S. began adopting “get-tough" 3,000 2008 policies such as three-strike laws, mandatory prison for drug offenses, and prison as a response to probation/parole violations.") 1980 1990 2000 2010 The impact has been that more so-called “low-risk" offenders are being incarcerated for non-violent crimes and probation and parole violations.") 3 out of 5 New non-violent offenders receive criminal punishment because they are unprotected under laws that do not differentiate between criminal conduct and wrongful acts.) Prison Stats Between 1972 and 2008, the adult population in the American penal system soared nearly Total Incarcerated Prison Population Jail Population Population 2,500,000 2,000,000 600 % 1,500,000 1,000,000 500,000 from 330,000 to 2.3 million, More than 1 in every 100 American adults is confined to jail or prison.) Of the increase in the prison population, only a small part is due to increases in criminal violence.5) Number of people serving in prison per 100,000 residents5) 0-250 O 250-500 O 501-750 O 751-1,000 WA ND MT MN ME VT- OR ID SD WI NY MA MI ERI WY NE IOWA PA NV UTAH CO IL IN KS OH W MO MD -DC VA 80%- OK TN NC AR AZ NM SC MS AL GA ALASKA Of the increase comes from changes in sentencing policy that made punishments more harsh.6) TX LA HAWAII Demographics Arrested by Gender Arrested by Ethnicity 4) 25% 75% Female Male American Indian or Alaskan Native Asian or Pacific Islander White Black African Americans account for less than I3% of the U.S. population, but 287o of all arrests. In African-American communities, I IN 9 males between the ages of 20 and 34 is in prison.") Arrested by Age. Arrested by age range in percentage." 33.4% 29.4% 14.8% years old 14% 7.6% is the age at which a youth can be 0.8% tried as an adult in some states. Under 18 18-24 25-39 40-49 50-64 65 and over In 2008, as many as Z00,000 juveniles were tried in adult courts where judges and punishments tend to be much harsher, even resulting in sentencing to adult prisons." Costs Per Inmate operating costs key.5) 20 years ago, states spent a total of O $28,001-42,000 O $42,001-54,000 0-$14.000 $14,001-28,000 $11 billion WA NH ND on corrections annually; MT MN VT- OR SD WI MA today it is about WY NE IOWA $52 billion, NV UTAH CO IL IN CA KS OH -MD KY VA most of which comes from Ок TN AR A7 NM SC incarceration expenses. MS AL GA ALASKA TX LA FL HAWAII Challenges for the Criminal Justice Population Individuals who come in contact with the criminal justice system face significant challenges beyond their interaction with the system. A snapshot of jail inmates indicates:4) 68% 60% 30% 16% | 14% do not have a high school diploma or general equivalency month before arrest, diploma. meet the criteria of inmates were are estimated to have serious mental were homeless at for substance unemployed in the some point during the year before they were incarcerated abuse or health problems. dependence. and almost twice as many were underemployed. Sources (9) Katel, P. (2008). Juvenile justice: Are sentencing policies too harsh? CQ Researcher, 18(39), 913-936. ) Katz, J. & Bonham, G. (2009). Effective alternatives to incarceration: Police collaborations with corrections and communities. U.S. Department of Justice: Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. Retrieved from (9 Overcriminalization: An explosion of federal criminal law. (2011). The Heritage Foundation (Fact sheet #86). Retrieved from 19 19 207 2006| 2004| zo07 0007 8661 966T 1994| Z661 0661 8861

The Criminalization of America

shared by rmmojado on Mar 25
How more and more laws are becoming criminal; more peopleare ending up in jail over minor, non-violent crimes.




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