Who is the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition?

Our mission is to reverse the trend of mass incarceration in Colorado. We are a coalition of nearly 7,000 individual members and over 100 faith and community organizations who have united to stop perpetual prison expansion in Colorado through policy and sentence reform.

Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.

If you would like to be involved please go to our website and become a member.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

New Prison Population Numbers

record prison and jail population hits 2.2 million
  • Drug Offenders in Prison and Jail Exceed Half Million; 1200% Increase Since 1980
  • Record 905,600 African Americans Currently Incarcerated

WASHINGTON, DC - The Department of Justice reported today that as of yearend 2006, there were a record 2,258,983 adults in prison or jail in the United States, an increase of 2.9% since last year. At yearend there were 7,211,400 persons under correctional supervision, including prison, jail, probation and parole, an increase of 2.3% in 2006. One in 31 adults was under some form of correctional supervision.

An analysis of the new figures by The Sentencing Project finds that there are now more than a half million persons in prison or jail nationally for a drug offense. From a figure of 41,100 prisoners incarcerated for a drug offense in 1980, there has been a 1200% increase resulting from the "war on drugs," leading to an estimated 532,400 drug offenders today. This figure includes an estimated 249,400 persons in state prisons, 93,800 in federal prison, and 189,200 in local jails.

"The record number of people incarcerated for a drug offense is a sign of failure, not success, in fighting drug abuse," stated Marc Mauer, Executive Director of The Sentencing Project. "We have squandered billions of dollars in resources for incarceration that could have been directed to prevention and treatment."

The Sentencing Project analysis of the new figures also finds:

U.S. Retains Distinction as Global Leader in Incarceration:

· At yearend 2006, the U.S. incarcerated 751 per 100,000 residents, outpacing French Guiana (630) and Russia (628). The U.S. rate is between five and nine times the rate of other industrialized nations, including: United Kingdom (148), Canada (107), Germany (93) and France (85).

Number of Women Reaches Historic High

· There were a record 112,498 women in state and federal prison in 2006.

· The number of women in prison has increased by 812% from the total of 12,331 in 1980, more than double the 380% increase for men during this period.

Racial Disparities Continue to Plague Criminal Justice System

· The 905,600 African Americans incarcerated in 2006 was more than nine times the number at the time of the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954.

· Racial disparities in incarceration vary broadly among the states. In seven states, African Americans are incarcerated at more than 10 times the rate of whites. These states are: Iowa - 13.6, Vermont - 12.5, New Jersey - 12.4, Connecticut - 12.0, Wisconsin - 10.7, North Dakota - 10.1, and South Dakota - 10.0.

Numbers Under Correctional Supervision, Reentering the Community, Continue to Grow, Strain Community Resources

· The more than 5 million persons on probation or parole in 2006 represented an increase of 276% since 1980.

The Sentencing Project is a national nonprofit organization engaged in research and advocacy on criminal justice policy issues.

1 comment:

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