Prisons & Drug Offenders

Statistics and other data regarding people under the control of the corrections system because of a drug offense. This includes people serving time in prisons, jails, and other correctional facilities, as well as people sentenced to probation or serving time on parole.

State Felony Drug Convictions

(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."

Drug Free Policies and Growing Underclass

(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.

Increasing Costs of Overcrowding

(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."

People of Color in State Prison for Drug Offenses

(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.

Incarceration Growth 1995-2003

(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%)."