Today’s baffling numbers
- The United States has 5% of the world’s population, but 25% of the world’s prisoners.
- The total incarcerated population in the U.S. is a staggering 2.4 million — a 500% increase over the past 30 years.
- One in every 108 adults was in prison or jail in 2012.
- One in 28 American children has a parent behind bars.
- At the end of 2007, 1 in 31 adults was behind bars, on probation or on parole.
- Currently, 65 million Americans have a criminal record.
Putting the statistics in perspective
- There are more people behind bars today for a drug offense than there were in 1980 for all offenses combined.
- The U.S. spent $80 billion on incarceration in 2010 alone.
- About as many people were returned to prison just for parole violations in 2000 as were admitted in 1980 for all reasons combined.
- Parole violators accounted for more than 35% of all prison admissions in 2000. Of those, only one-third were returned for a new conviction; the rest were returned for a technical violation, such as missing a meeting with the parole officer.
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