Women in Prison for Drug Offenses

State: "More than half (53% or 696,900 prisoners) of all state prisoners sentenced to more than 1 year on December 31, 2014 (the most recent year for which state prison offense data are available) were serving sentences for violent offenses on their current term of imprisonment (table 9) (appendix table 5). At yearend 2014, 13% of sentenced prisoners (171,700 prisoners) were serving time in state prison for murder or nonnegligent manslaughter. An additional 162,800 state prisoners (12%) had been sentenced for rape or sexual assault. On December 31, 2015, 249,900 state prisoners (19%) were sentenced to at least 1 year for property offenses. Sixteen percent of state prisoners were serving sentences for drug-related offenses (206,300 prisoners).
"Violent offenders represented more than half (54%) of the sentenced male state prisoners. More than a third (36%) of female prisoners were violent offenders. Eighteen percent (223,700) of male state prisoners and 28% (26,000) of females were sentenced for property offenses. Twenty-five percent of female state prisoners (23,500 females) and 15% of male state prisoners (182,700 males) were sentenced for drug offenses."
Federal: "Almost 50% (92,000 prisoners) of sentenced federal prisoners on September 30, 2015 (the most recent date for which federal offense data are available) were serving time for drug offenses (table 10) (appendix table 6). An additional 36% of federal offenders (67,500 prisoners) were imprisoned for public order offenses, including 30,200 (16% of all federal prisoners) for weapons offenses and 14,900 (8%) for adjudicated immigration crimes. While 53% of sentenced state prisoners were serving time for violent offenses, 7% of federal prisoners (13,700 prisoners) were serving sentences for violent crimes.
"Among female federal prisoners, 59% were serving sentences for drug offenses, compared to 49% of males. A larger proportion of white prisoners in federal prison (42%) were serving time for public order offenses on September 30, 2015 than blacks (32%) or Hispanics (37%). More than half of black (51%) and Hispanic (58%) federal prisoners in 2015 were convicted of drug offenses."


Carson, E. Ann, and Anderson, Elizabeth, "Prisoners in 2015" (Washington, DC: US Dept of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics, Dec. 2016), NCJ250229, p. 14 (state) and p. 15 (federal).