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Drug Offenders in the Correctional System

  1. Basic Data

    (Drug Offenders in US Prisons 2012)
    Federal: On Dec. 31, 2012, there were 196,574 sentenced prisoners under federal jurisdiction. Of these, 99,426 were serving time for drug offenses, 11,688 for violent offenses, 11,568 for property offenses, and 72,519 for "public order" offenses (of which 23,700 were sentenced for immigration offenses, 30,046 for weapons offenses, and 17,633 for "other").

    State: On Dec. 31, 2011, there were 1,341,797 sentenced prisoners under state jurisdiction. Of these, 222,738 were serving time for drug offenses, of whom 55,013 were merely convicted for possession. There were also 717,861 serving time for violent offenses, 249,574 for property offenses, 142,230 for "public order" offenses (which include weapons, drunk driving, court offenses, commercialized vice, morals and decency offenses, liquor law violations, and other public-order offenses), and 9,392 for "other/unspecified".

    Source: 
    E. Ann Carson and Daniela Golinelli, "Prisoners in 2012: Trends in Admissions and Releases, 1991-2012" (Washington, DC: US Dept. of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics, Dec. 2013), NCJ243920, Table 5, p. 3, and Appendix Table 10, p. 43.
    http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/p12tar9112.pdf

  2. (Drug Offenders On Probation, 2012) Of the 3,942,776 adults on probation in the US at the end of 2012, 25% (approximately 985,694 people) had as their most serious offense a drug charge.

    Source: 
    Laura M. Maruschak and Thomas P. Bonczar, "Probation and Parole in the United States, 2012" (Washington, DC: US Dept of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics, December 2013), NCJ 243826, Appendix Table 2, p. 17, and Appendix Table 3, p. 18.
    http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/ppus12.pdf

  3. (Drug Offenders on Parole, 2012) Of the 851,158 people on parole at the end of 2012, 33% (approximately 280,882 people) had a drug charge as their most serious offense.

    Source: 
    Laura M. Maruschak and Thomas P. Bonczar, "Probation and Parole in the United States, 2012" (Washington, DC: US Dept of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics, December 2013), NCJ 243826, Appendix Table 4, p. 19, and Appendix Table 6, p. 21.
    http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/ppus12.pdf

  4. (Drug Use by Parolees in the US, 2012) "In 2012, an estimated 1.5 million adults aged 18 or older were on parole or other supervised release from prison at some time during the past year. About one quarter of these (25.6 percent) were current illicit drug users, with 18.1 percent reporting current use of marijuana and 7.0 percent reporting current nonmedical use of psychotherapeutic drugs. These rates were higher than those reported by adults aged 18 or older who were not on parole or supervised release during the past year (9.0 percent for illicit drug use, 7.2 percent for marijuana use, and 2.6 percent for nonmedical use of psychotherapeutic drugs)."

    Source: 
    Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Results from the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings, NSDUH Series H-46, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 13-4795. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2013, p. 27.
    http://www.samhsa.gov/data/NSDUH/2012SummNatFindDetTables/Index.aspx
    http://www.samhsa.gov/data/NSDUH/2012SummNatFindDetTables/NationalFindin...

  5. (Drug Use by Adults on Probation in the US, 2012) "In 2012, an estimated 5.0 million adults aged 18 or older were on probation at some time during the past year. More than one quarter (30.2 percent) were current illicit drug users, with 25.1 percent reporting current use of marijuana and 10.1 percent reporting current nonmedical use of psychotherapeutic drugs. These rates were higher than those reported by adults who were not on probation during the past year (8.7 percent for illicit drug use, 6.9 percent for marijuana use, and 2.4 percent for nonmedical use of psychotherapeutic drugs)."

    Source: 
    Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Results from the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings, NSDUH Series H-46, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 13-4795. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2013, p. 27.
    http://www.samhsa.gov/data/NSDUH/2012SummNatFindDetTables/Index.aspx
    http://www.samhsa.gov/data/NSDUH/2012SummNatFindDetTables/NationalFindin...

  6. (Cost Effectiveness of Prison) "Substance-involved people have come to compose a large portion of the prison population. Substance use may play a role in the commission of certain crimes: approximately 16 percent of people in state prison and 18 percent of people in federal prison reported committing their crimes to obtain money for drugs.21 Treatment delivered in the community is one of the most cost-effective ways to prevent such crimes and costs approximately $20,000 less than incarceration per person per year.22 A study by the Washington State Institute for Public Policy found that every dollar spent on drug treatment in the community yields over $18 in cost savings related to crime.23 In comparison, prisons only yield $.37 in public safety benefit per dollar spent. Releasing people to supervision and making treatment accessible is an effective way of reducing problematic drug use, reducing crime associated with drug use and reducing the number of people in prison."

    Source: 
    Justice Policy Institute, "How to safely reduce prison populations and support people returning to their communities," (Washington, DC: June 2010), p. 8.
    http://www.justicepolicy.org/images/upload/10-06_FAC_ForImmediateRelease...

  7. (US Drug Prisoners) "The United States leads the world in the number of people incarcerated in federal and state correctional facilities. There are currently more than 2 million people in American prisons or jails. Approximately one-quarter of those people held in U.S. prisons or jails have been convicted of a drug offense. The United States incarcerates more people for drug offenses than any other country. With an estimated 6.8 million Americans struggling with drug abuse or dependence, the growth of the prison population continues to be driven largely by incarceration for drug offenses."

    Source: 
    Justice Policy Institute, "Substance Abuse Treatment and Public Safety," (Washington, DC: January 2008), p. 1.
    http://www.justicepolicy.org/images/upload/08_01_REP_DrugTx_AC-PS.pdf

  8. (Estimated Drug Use by Prisoners in 2004) "17% of State and 18% of Federal prisoners committed their crime to obtain money for drugs."

    Source: 
    Mumola, Christopher J., and Karberg, Jennifer C., "Drug Use and Dependence, State and Federal Prisoners, 2004," (Washington, DC: US Dept. of Justice, Oct. 2006) (NCJ213530), p. 1.
    http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/dudsfp04.pdf

  9. (Parents in Prison, by Offense) "Among male state prisoners, violent (47%) and property (48%) offenders were less likely to report having children than public-order (60%) and drug (59%) offenders (table 6). For women held in state prison, violent (57%) offenders were less likely than drug (63%), property (65%), and public-order (65%) offenders to be a mother.
    "The prevalence of being a parent differed by gender and offense for inmates held in state and federal prisons. For state inmates, female (65%) property offenders were more likely to be a parent than male (48%) property offenders. In federal prison, male (69%) drug offenders were more likely than female (55%) drug offenders to report having children.
    "Among men held in federal prison, drug offenders (69%) were more likely than property (54%) and violent (50%) offenders to report having children (appendix table 5). Public-order offenders (62%) were also more likely than violent offenders to report having children. For women in federal prison, the likelihood of being a mother did not differ by offense."

    Source: 
    Glaze, Lauren E. and Maruschak, Laura M., "Parents in Prison and Their Minor Children" (Washington, DC: USDOJ, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Jan. 2009), NCJ222984, p. 4.
    http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/pptmc.pdf

  10. (Drug Dependence, Prisoners, by Offense) "Violent offenders (47%) were the only offender group in State prisons with less than half meeting the DSM-IV criteria for drug dependence or abuse. Property and drug offenders (63% of each) were the most likely to be drug dependent or abusing.
    "Drug offenders (52%) were the only group of Federal inmates with at least half meeting the drug dependence or abuse criteria. Property offenders (27%) reported the lowest percentage of drug dependence or abuse."

    Source: 
    Mumola, Christopher J., and Karberg, Jennifer C., "Drug Use and Dependence, State and Federal Prisoners, 2004," (Washington, DC: US Dept. of Justice, Oct. 2006) (NCJ213530), p. 7.
    http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/dudsfp04.pdf

  11. (Parents in Prison) "Mothers in state prison (58%) were more likely than fathers (49%) to report having a family member who had also been incarcerated (table 11). Parents in state prison most commonly reported a brother (34%), followed by a father (19%). Among mothers in state prison, 13% reported a sister and 8% reported a spouse. Six percent of fathers reported having a sister who had also been incarcerated; 2%, a spouse.
    "While growing up, 40% of parents in state prison reported living in a household that received public assistance, 14% reported living in a foster home, agency, or institution at some time during their youth, and 43% reported living with both parents most of the time (appendix table 11). Mothers (17%) held in state prison were more likely than fathers (14%) to report living in a foster home, agency, or institution at some time during their youth. Parents in federal prison reported lower percentages of growing up in a household that received public assistance (31%) or living in a foster home, agency, or institution (7%). These characteristics varied little by gender for parents held in federal prison.
    "More than a third (34%) of parents in state prison reported that during their youth, their parents or guardians had abused alcohol or drugs. Mothers in state prison (43%) were more likely than fathers (33%) to have had this experience. Fewer parents (27%) in federal prison reported having a parent or a guardian who had abused alcohol or drugs."

    Source: 
    Glaze, Lauren E. and Maruschak, Laura M., "Parents in Prison and Their Minor Children" (Washington, DC: USDOJ, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Jan. 2009), NCJ222984, p. 7.
    http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/pptmc.pdf

  12. (Increasing Costs of Overcrowding) "The increases in drug imprisonment, the decrease in releases from prison, and the re-incarceration for technical parole violations are leading to significant overcrowding and contribute to the growing costs of prisons. Prisons are stretched beyond capacity, creating dangerous and unconstitutional conditions which often result in costly lawsuits. In 2006, 40 out of 50 states were at 90 percent capacity or more, with 23 of those states operating at over 100 percent capacity."

    Source: 
    Justice Policy Institute, "Pruning Prisons: How Cutting Corrections Can Save Money and Protect Public Safety," (Washington, DC: May 2009), pp. 7-8.
    http://www.justicepolicy.org/images/upload/09_05_REP_PruningPrisons_AC_P...

  13. (State and Federal Marijuana Prisoners)

    Total Federal Prisoners 2004 = 170,535
    Total State Prisoners 2004 = 1,244,311

    Percent of federal prisoners held for drug law violations = 55%
    Percent of state prisoners held for drug law violations = 21%

    Marijuana/hashish, Percent of federal drug offenders, 2004 = 12.4%
    Marijuana/hashish, Percent of state drug offenders, 2004 = 12.7%

    (Total prisoners x percent drug law) x percent marijuana = "marijuana prisoners"

    Federal marijuana prisoners in 2004 = 11,630
    State marijuana prisoners in 2004 = 33,186
    Total federal and state marijuana prisoners in 2004 = 44,816

    Note: These data only address people in prisons and thus exclude the 700,000+ offenders who may be in local jails because of a marijuana conviction.

    Source: 
    Mumola , Christopher J. and Karberg, Jennifer C., "Drug Use and Dependence, State and Federal Prisoners, 2004," Bureau of Justice Statistics (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, January 2007) NCJ 213530, p. 4.
    http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/dudsfp04.pdf
    Harrison, Paige M. and Beck, Allan J., "Prisoners in 2004," Bureau of Justice Statistics, (Washington, DC: US Department of Justice, October 2005), NCJ 210677, Table 1, page 2.
    http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/p04.pdf

  14. (Offense Distribution of Inmates in State Prisons in the US 2011, by Race/Ethnicity and Gender) "The distribution of offense categories was more evenly divided among female inmates than male inmates, with 37% of females imprisoned for violent offenses, 28% for property offenses, and 25% for drug crimes. Among male inmates, 54% were incarcerated for violent crimes, 18% for property offenses, and 16% for drug offenses.
    "The percentage of Hispanic inmates sentenced for violent offenses (58%) exceeded that of non-Hispanic black (56%) and non-Hispanic white (49%) inmates (table 10).2 The number of black inmates imprisoned for violent crimes (284,631) surpassed that of white (228,782) or Hispanic (162,489) inmates. Among black inmates sentenced for violent crimes, the leading cause of incarceration was robbery (19% of the total black prison population), followed by murder and nonnegligent manslaughter (13%). Black and Hispanic inmates were incarcerated at similar percentages for violent offenses, with 13% of the Hispanic prison population held for murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, 13% for robbery, and 14% for aggravated or simple assault. Among white inmates convicted of violent crimes, the leading cause for incarceration was rape or sexual assault (17% or 79,282 prisoners). When combined with rape or sexual assault convictions, the overall number of white inmates imprisoned for rape or sexual assault exceeded the number of black and Hispanic inmates sentenced for rape or sexual assault combined (75,838). The number of white inmates sentenced for property crime (108,560) was larger than the number of black (78,197) and Hispanic (38,264) inmates sentenced for property crime, while more black inmates were sentenced for drug offenses than inmates of other races or Hispanic origin."

    Source: 
    Carson, E. Ann, and Golinelli, Daniela, "Prisoners in 2012 - Advance Counts" (Washington, DC: US Dept. of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics, July 2013), NCJ242467, pp. 10-11.
    http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/p12ac.pdf

  15. Federal-Specific Data

    (Inmates in Federal Prison for Drug Offenses, 2011) "Of the inmates residing in federal prisons as of September 2011, and for whom offense data are known, more than half (101,929 or 50.4%) were serving sentences for federal drug offenses—including simple possession.49 And of the 24,366 federal drug offenders known to have been sentenced for drug related offenses, 6,336 were sentenced for marijuana-related offenses and 4,309 were sentenced for methamphetamine-related offenses in 2010.50"

    Source: 
    Sacco, Lisa N. and Finklea, Kristin M., "Synthetic Drugs: Overview and Issues for Congress, Congressional Research Service (Washington, DC: Library of Congress, October 28, 2011), p. 11.
    http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R42066.pdf

  16. (Sentenced Federal Prisoners in the US 2012, by Offense) There were an estimated 196,574 sentenced prisoners under federal jurisdiction on Dec. 31, 2012. Of these, 11,688 were incarcerated for violent offenses, including 1,378 for homicide, 7,110 for robbery, and 3,201 for other violent crimes. There were an estimated 11,568 inmates serving time for property crimes, including 19 for burglary, 8,827 for fraud, and 2,569 for other property offenses. There were an estimated 99,426 who were incarcerated for drug offenses. Also, 72,519 were incarcerated for public-order offenses, including 23,700 for immigration offenses, 30,046 for weapons offenses, and 18,773 for "other" offenses.

    Source: 
    E. Ann Carson and Daniela Golinelli, "Prisoners in 2012: Trends in Admissions and Releases, 1991-2012" (Washington, DC: US Dept. of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics, Dec. 2013), NCJ243920, Appendix Table 10, p. 43.
    http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/p12tar9112.pdf

  17. (Federal Drug Prisoners by Offense, 2004) According to the Justice Department, 5.3% of drug offenders in federal prisons are serving time for possession; 91.4% are serving time for trafficking offenses; and 3.3% are in for "other."

    Source: 
    Mumola, Christopher J., and Karberg, Jennifer C., "Drug Use and Dependence, State and Federal Prisoners, 2004," (Washington, DC: US Dept. of Justice, Oct. 2006) (NCJ213530), p. 4.
    http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/dudsfp04.pdf

  18. (Incarceration Growth 1995-2003) "Violent offenders under Federal jurisdiction increased 46% from 1995 to 2003, and accounted for almost 8% of the total growth during the period. Homicide offenders increased 146%, from 1,068 in 1995 to 2,632 in 2003.
    "While the number of offenders in each major offense category increased [from 1995 to 2003], the number incarcerated for a drug offense accounted for the largest percentage of the total growth (49%), followed by public-order offenders (38%)."

    Source: 
    Harrison, Paige M. & Allen J. Beck, Allen J., PhD, US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Prisoners in 2005 (Washington DC: US Department of Justice, Nov. 2006) NCJ 215092, p. 10.
    http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/p05.pdf

  19. State- and Local-Specific Data

    (State Prisoners Sentenced for Drug Offenses by Race, 2011) According to the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics, of the estimated 225,242 sentenced prisoners under state jurisdiction serving time for drug offenses in 2011, 67,271 were non-Hispanic white (29.9%), 91,775 were non-Hispanic black (40.7%), 47,479 were Hispanic (21.1%), and 18,717 (8.3%) were unaccounted for or not specified in the report.

    Source: 
    Carson, E. Ann, and Golinelli, Daniela, "Prisoners in 2012 - Advance Counts" (Washington, DC: US Dept. of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics, July 2013), NCJ242467, Table 10, p. 11.
    http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/p12ac.pdf

  20. (Drug Offenses of State Inmates in the US, 2004) According to the US Justice Department, 27.9% of drug offenders in state prisons are serving time for possession; 69.4% are serving time for trafficking offenses; and 2.7% are in for "other."

    Source: 
    Mumola, Christopher J., and Karberg, Jennifer C., "Drug Use and Dependence, State and Federal Prisoners, 2004," (Washington, DC: US Dept. of Justice, Oct. 2006) (NCJ213530), p. 4.
    http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/dudsfp04.pdf

  21. (Drug Treatment Admissions and Incarceration Rates) "Increased admissions to drug treatment are associated with reduced incarceration rates. States with a higher drug treatment admission rate than the national average send, on average, 100 fewer people to prison per 100,000 in the population than states that have lower than average drug treatment admissions. Of the 20 states that admit the most people to treatment per 100,000, 19 had incarceration rates below the national average. Of the 20 states that admitted the fewest people to treatment per 100,000, eight had incarceration rates above the national average."

    Source: 
    Justice Policy Institute, "Substance Abuse Treatment and Public Safety," (Washington, DC: January 2008), p. 2.
    http://www.justicepolicy.org/images/upload/08_01_REP_DrugTx_AC-PS.pdf

  22. (Drug Use by Offenders) "Violent offenders in State prison (50%) were less likely than drug (72%) and property (64%) offenders to have used drugs in the month prior to their offense."

    Source: 
    Mumola, Christopher J., and Karberg, Jennifer C., "Drug Use and Dependence, State and Federal Prisoners, 2004," (Washington, DC: US Dept. of Justice, Oct. 2006) (NCJ213530), p. 1.
    http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/dudsfp04.pdf

  23. (Local Jail Inmates) According to a federal survey of jail inmates, of the total 440,670 jail inmates in the US in 2002, 112,447 (25.5%) were drug offenders: 48,823 (11.1%) for possession and 56,574 (12.8%) for trafficking.

    Source: 
    Karberg, Jennifer C. and Doris J. James, US Dept. of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, "Substance Dependence, Abuse, and Treatment of Jail Inmates, 2002" (Washington, DC: US Dept. of Justice, July 2005), Table 7, p. 6.
    http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/sdatji02.pdf

  24. (Alcohol and Other Drug Use by Jail Inmates, by Offense) According to a federal survey of jail inmates, in 2002, of the 96,359 violent offenders in jail, 37.6% used alcohol at the time of their offense, 21.8% used drugs, and 47.2% used alcohol or drugs; of the 112,895 property offenders in jail that year, 28.5% used alcohol at the time of their offense, 32.5% used drugs, and 46.8% used alcohol or drugs; of the 112,447 drug offenders in jail that year, 22.4% used alcohol at the time of their offense, 43.2% used drugs, and 51.7% used drugs or alcohol at the time of their offense.

    Source: 
    Karberg, Jennifer C. and Doris J. James, US Dept. of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, "Substance Dependence, Abuse, and Treatment of Jail Inmates, 2002" (Washington, DC: US Dept. of Justice, July 2005), Table 7, p. 6.
    http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/sdatji02.pdf

  25. (Drug Offenders Sentenced to Treatment) "In 2006 an estimated 38% of persons sentenced for a felony in state courts were ordered to pay a fine as part of their sentence (table 1.5). Approximately 1 in 4 property offenders was ordered to make restitution and 23% of offenders convicted of drug possession were sentenced to treatment."

    Source: 
    Sean Rosenmerkel, Matthew Durose and Donald Farole, Jr., "Felony Sentences in State Courts, 2006 –Statistical Tables," Bureau of Justice Statistics (Washington, DC: US Department of Justice, December 2009), p. 2.
    http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/fssc06st.pdf

  26. (State Felony Drug Convictions) "State courts sentenced an estimated 1,132,290 persons for a felony in 2006, including 206,140 (or 18% of all felony convictions) for a violent felony (table 1.1). A drug crime was the most serious conviction offense for about a third of felons sentenced in state courts that year."

    Source: 
    Sean Rosenmerkel, Matthew Durose and Donald Farole, Jr., "Felony Sentences in State Courts, 2006 – Statistical Tables," Bureau of Justice Statistics (Washington, DC: US Department of Justice, December 2009). p. 2.
    http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/fssc06st.pdf

  27. Sociopolitical Research

    (Effectiveness of Incarceration Against Drug Crimes) "The potency of incarceration is further diminished by three other forces, researchers have found. The first, sometimes referred to as the 'replacement effect,' applies largely to crimes that occur as part of a market, such as fencing stolen property or, most notably, drug transactions. Once incarcerated, drug dealers tend to be quickly replaced by new dealers and, as during the crack epidemic, the new recruits can be younger and more prone to violence than their predecessors.57 Thus while drug dealers no doubt deserve punishment, most leading researchers, and many law enforcement officials, now agree that incarcerating the foot soldiers in drug gangs, not to mention drug users, has a negligible impact on crime.58 Moreover, by creating job openings in drug-dealing organizations, it draws more people into criminal lifestyles and may in certain cases exacerbate crime.59"

    Source: 
    Pew Center on the States, "One in 31: The Long Reach of American Corrections," (Washington, DC: The Pew Charitable Trusts, March 2009), p. 19.
    http://www.pewstates.org/uploadedFiles/PCS_Assets/2009/PSPP_1in31_report...

  28. (People of Color in State Prison for Drug Offenses) "The number of people in state prisons for drug offenses has increased 550 percent over the last 20 years. A recent JPI report found that the amount spent on 'cops and courts' – not rates of drug use -- is correlated to admissions to prison for drug offenses. Counties that spend more on law enforcement and the judiciary admit more people to prison for drug offenses than counties that spend less. And increases in federal funding through the Edward Byrne Memorial State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance Grant Program have promoted increases in resources dedicated to drug enforcement. As crime continues to fall in many communities, law enforcement will have more time to focus on aggressive policing of drug offenses; this can be expected to lead to even higher drug imprisonment rates and crowded jails and prisons. According to FBI reports, 83 percent of drug arrests are for possession of illegal drugs alone.16 And regardless of crime in a particular jurisdiction, police often target the same neighborhoods to make drug arrests, which can increase the disproportionate incarceration of people of color."

    Source: 
    Justice Policy Institute, "Pruning Prisons: How Cutting Corrections Can Save Money and Protect Public Safety," (Washington, DC: May 2009), p. 6.
    http://www.justicepolicy.org/images/upload/09_05_REP_PruningPrisons_AC_P...

  29. (The American Gulag - Former Drug Czar Gen. Barry R. McCaffrey) "We must have law enforcement authorities address the issue because if we do not, prevention, education, and treatment messages will not work very well. But having said that, I also believe that we have created an American gulag."

    Source: 
    Gen. Barry R. McCaffrey (USA, Ret.), Director, ONDCP, Keynote Address, Opening Plenary Session, National Conference on Drug Abuse Prevention Research, National Institute on Drug Abuse, September 19, 1996, Washington, DC.
    http://archives.drugabuse.gov/meetings/CODA/Keynote2.html

  30. (Drug Free Policies and Growing Underclass) "But while drug-free schools remain a fantasy, their policies are contributing to an uneducated underclass that just gets larger, more despairing, and more entrenched. This underclass now includes five million young adults between sixteen and twenty-four who are both out of school and out of work, with few skills and fewer prospects. It includes most ex-prisoners, half of whom lack a high school education, and most of whom are jobless one year after release. And it includes Black Americans and other racial minorities who have never remotely attained the standard of well-being common throughout the developed world."

    Source: 
    Eric Blumenson, Eva S. Nilsen, "How to Construct an Underclass, or How the War on Drugs Became a War on Education," The Journal of Gender, Race & Justice, (May 2002), p. 76.
    http://lsr.nellco.org/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1005&context=suffolk_f...


  31. Number of persons under control of the US corrections system for drug offenses
    System 1980 1990 2000 2007 2008 2009 % Chg

    1990-2009

                         
    TOTAL - Drugs 964,469 -- 1,833,856 1,891,467 1,725,387 +78.9%
    Probation -- 640,856 918,290 1,159,154 1,238,566 1,093,031 +70.6%
    Parole -- 144,543 n/a 305,656 306,423 294,951 +104.1%
                         
    Federal Prison 4,900 30,470 74,276 95,446 95,079 95,205 +212.5%
    State prison 19,000 148,600 251,100 273,600 251,400 242,200 +63.0%
                         
    % Share of Total Persons* -- 24.5% -- 35.8% 28.6% 26.4% --
     


    • All of the above numbers represent estimates, not exact counts. The source reports from the Bureau of Justice Statistics for various years have been periodically revised. The methodologies used to collect these data may also be modified over time, rendering the percent change values approximations.

    • † The conviction on a drug offense means that possession or sales of an illegal drug was the person's most serious offense, even if he or she were convicted of multiple offenses.

    • This analysis omits counts for drug offenders in local jails, even though these facilities housed an estimated 767,434 inmates in 2009. The Bureau of Justice Statistics, from which the above numbers were drawn, consistently fails to report the offenses that predicate incarceration in these facilities.

    • The above numbers concerning probation and parole have been computed from the percentages that describe the "characteristics of adults" on probation or parole.

    • * "% Share of total persons" computes the percentage share of the sum of all probationers, parolees and state and federal prisoners represented by those whose most serious offense involved a drug conviction.

    Source: 
    Gilliard, Darrell K. and Beck, Allan J., "Prisoners in 1994," Bureau of Justice Statistics, (Washington, DC: US Department of Justice, August 1995), NCJ 151654, p. 11 & 10.
    http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/p04.pdf
    Guerino, Paul; Harrison, Paige M.; and Sabol, William J., "Prisoners in 2010," Bureau of Justice Statistics, (Washington, DC: US Department of Justice, December 2011), NCJ 236096, p. 28 & 30.
    http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/p10.pdf
    Glaze, Lauren E., and Bonczar, Thomas P., "Probation and Parole in the United States, 2010," Bureau of Justice Statistics, (Washington, DC: US Department of Justice, November 2011), NCJ 236019, pp. 33 & 43.
    http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/ppus10.pdf
    ===
    Other reports from which the above data can be referenced:
    Total Correctional Population: http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=tp&tid=11
    State and Federal Prisoners: http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=tp&tid=13
    State and Federal Prisoners, 1925-2001: http://www.census.gov/statab/hist/HS-24.pdf
    Community Corrections (Probation and Parole): http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=tp&tid=15
    Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics: http://www.albany.edu/sourcebook/tost_6.html