Category: data visualization
Yesterday, a new report was released by the National Research Council. The report explored comprehensive data on the rise of U.S. state and federal prison populations from 1973 to 2009 to better understand demographics and the societal impacts of high incarceration rates. Some of the findings will be familiar:
* With the inclusion of local jails, the U.S. penal population totals 2.2 million adults, the largest in the world; the U.S. has nearly one-quarter of the world’s prisoners, but only 5 percent of its population.
* Nearly 1 in 100 adults is in prison or jail, which is 5 to 10 times higher than rates in Western Europe and other democracies.
* Of those incarcerated in 2011, about 60 percent were black or Hispanic.
* Black men under age 35 who did not finish high school are more likely to be behind bars than employed in the labor market.
* In 2009, 62 percent of black children 17 or younger whose parents had not completed high school had experienced a parent being sent to prison, compared with 17 percent for Hispanic children and 15 percent for white children with similarly educated parents.
The W. Haywood Burns Institute has released an interactive map that breaks data down by state according to racial disparities and non-violent offenses. The map is based on federal data for 2011 is the most recent information available. In 2011:
—75 percent of all youth are incarcerated for non-violent offenses.
—Two-thirds of those youth are of color.
—Black youth are 4.6 times as likely to be incarcerated than white youth.
—Native American youth are 3.2 times as likely.
—Latino youth are 1.8 times as likely.
Check out the maps yourselves to see how your state fares.
Over 50 percent of inmates currently in federal prison are there for drug offenses, according to an infographic recently released by the Federal Bureau of Prisons (see chart below). That percentage has risen fairly consistently over decades, all the way from 16 percent in 1970.
The second-largest category, immigration-related crimes, accounts for 10.6 percent of inmates. This means that people convicted of two broad categories of nonviolent crimes — drugs and immigration — make up over 60 percent of the U.S. prison population.
More in the Huffington Post.
I found this short video titled “US Prison System by the Numbers.” It’s informative and a good short primer on the scope of the PIC in the U.S. It was created by Patrick Kipper.
Black Americans were nearly four times as likely as whites to be arrested on charges of marijuana possession in 2010, even though the two groups used the drug at similar rates, according to new federal data.
The Times story includes the following map which illustrates the disparities in marijuana arrests.
Please read the entire interactive ACLU report HERE.