Drugs and the Correctional System (Prisons, Jails, Probation and Parole)

21. Estimated Number Of People In The US Sentenced To State and Federal Prison For Marijuana Offenses

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.

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...
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...

22. Estimated Number of People Sentenced To Federal Prison For Drug Offenses

Federal-Specific Data

"More than half (54%) of drug offenders in the federal prison system had a form of cocaine (powder or crack) as the primary drug type (table 2). Methamphetamine offenders (24%) accounted for the next largest share, followed by marijuana (12%) and heroin (6%) offenders. Offenders convicted of crimes involving other drugs (including LSD, some prescription drugs, and MDMA or ecstasy) made up 3% of offenders."

Sam Taxy, Julie Samuels, and William Adams, Urban Institute, "Drug Offenders in Federal Prison: Estimates of Characteristics Based on Linked Data," (Washington, DC: US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, October 2015), NCJ 248648, p. 2.
http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?t...
http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub...

23. 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."

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...

24. 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%)."

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...

25. Prisons - Data - Number of People Serving Time in State Prisons for Drug Offenses

State- and Local-Specific Data

(Number of People Serving Time in State Prisons in the US for Drug Offenses) According to the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics, of the estimated 206,300 sentenced prisoners under state jurisdiction serving time for drug offenses at year-end 2014, 67,800 were non-Latino whites (32.9%), 68,000 were non-Latino African Americans (33.0%), 28,800 were Hispanic (7.2%). The ethnicity of the remaining 41,700 is not reported, meaning they could have been of another ethnicity, multiracial, or unknown.

E. Ann Carson, PhD, and Elizabeth Anderson. Prisoners In 2015. Washington, DC: US Dept of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics, Dec. 2016, NCJ250229, p. 30, Appendix Table 5.0
https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?...
https://www.bjs.gov/content/pu...

26. 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."

Justice Policy Institute, "Substance Abuse Treatment and Public Safety," (Washington, DC: January 2008), p. 2.
http://www.justicepolicy.org/i...

27. Drug Offenses of State Inmates in the US, 2004

According to the US Justice Department, in 2004, 27.9% of people serving time for drug offenses in state prisons had a possession charge as their most serious offense; 69.4% were serving time on trafficking offenses; and 2.7% were in for "other."

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...

28. Drug Use by People in Prison for Other Types of Offenses

"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."

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...

29. 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.

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...

30. 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.

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...

31. 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."

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...

32. 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."

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...

33. Incarceration for Drug Crimes Both Ineffective and Counterproductive

"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"

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.pewtrusts.org/en/re...
http://www.pewtrusts.org/-/med...

34. 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."

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/i...

35. 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."

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/...

36. 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."

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/view...

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