You Can Make a Difference

Here are additional numbers that relate to our problem in the United States. These provide an understanding of how violence and related crime affects almost every aspect of our society and economy. The U.S. Deptartment of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics provided the following:

  • As of October 2007, there were 2,293,157 prisoners in Federal or State prisons and local jails. That represents 506 sentenced prisoners per 100,000 Americans. There was an annual growth rate of prison population between the year 2000 and 2006 of 2.6% per year. As of the end of 2007, there were 7.2 million people behind bars, on probation, or on parole. The U.S. ranks first in the world per capita, with more than 1 in every 100 citizens incarcerated.
  • More than 1/3 of all prisoners were sentenced for violent crimes. Violent offenses include murder, negligent and non-negligent manslaughter, rape, sexual assualt, extortion, intimidation, criminal endangerment, and other offenses. Over 1/3 of the total male custody was ages 20 to 29 years.

According to the Pew Charitable Trusts, documentary, Pew Public Safety Performance Project, dated February 28, 2008: The U.S. had crossed the threshold of “more than one in every 100 adults is now confined in American jails or prisons.” Their statistics indicate that the incarceration is having a negligible effect on recidivism or overall crime.

Again, from the U.S. Deptartment of Justice, “If recent incarceration rates remain unchanged, an estimated 1 of every 20 persons will serve time in a prison during their lifetime.”

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