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While we try to wrap our minds around all the crimes described in the #MuellerReport and how they can’t be “proved” we have to wonder what the millions of “guests” of #IncarcerationNation think and feel right now..
The American criminal justice system holds 2.3M people in 1,719 state prisons, 109 federal prisons, 1,772 juvenile facilities, 3,163 local jails, 80 Indian Country jails,military prisons, immigration detention,civil commitment centers, state psychiatric hospitals./2
Every year over 600,000 enter prison gates but people go to jail 10.6M X each year.Jail churn is particularly high as most ppl in jails haven’t been convicted. Some will make bail within hours or days while many others are too poor to make bail &remain behind bars until trial./3
Drug offenses still account for the incarceration of almost half a million people, and nonviolent drug convictions remain a defining feature of the federal prison system. /4 #IncarcerationNation #TwoAmericas #CriminalJusticeReform
Drug arrests continue to give residents of over-policed communities criminal records, hurting their employment prospects and increasing the likelihood of longer sentences for any future offenses./5 #IncarcerationNation
Community supervision, which includes probation, parole, and pretrial supervision, is often seen as a “lenient” punishment, or as an ideal “alternative” to incarceration. /6 #CriminalJusticeReform #TwoAmericas #IncarcerationNation
But while remaining in the community is certainly preferable to being locked up, the conditions imposed on those under supervision are often so restrictive that they set people up to fail. /7 #CriminalJusticeReform #IncarcerationNation #TwoAmericas
The long supervision terms, numerous and burdensome requirements, and constant surveillance (especially with electronic monitoring) result in frequent “failures,” often for minor infractions like breaking curfew or failing to pay unaffordable supervision fees. /8
In 2016 at least 168,000 people were incarcerated for such “technical violations” of probation or parole/that is, not for any new crime. Probation, in particular, leads to unnecessary incarceration; until it is reformed to support and reward success rather than detect mistakes/9
Looking more closely at incarceration by offense type also exposes some disturbing facts about the 63,000 youth in confinement in the United States: Too many are there for a “most serious offense” that is not even a crime. /10 #IncarcerationNation #TwoAmericas
There are over 8,100 youth behind bars for technical violations of probation rather than a new offense. An additional 2,200 youth are locked up for “status” offenses, which are “behaviors that are not law violations for adults such as running away, truancy, &incorrigibility.” /11
Turning to the people who are locked up criminally and civilly for immigration-related reasons, we find that 13,000 people are in federal prisons for criminal convictions of immigration offenses, and 10,600 more are held pretrial by U.S. Marshals. /12 #IncarcerationNation
The vast majority of people incarcerated for criminal immigration offenses are accused of illegal entry or illegal re-entry – in other words, for no more serious offense than crossing the border without permission./13 #ImmigrationReform #IncarcerationNation
Adding to the universe of people who are confined because of justice system involvement, 22,000 people are involuntarily detained or committed to state psychiatric hospitals &civil commitment centers. Many of these people are not even convicted & some are held indefinitely. /14
Once we have wrapped our minds around the “whole pie” of mass incarceration we should zoom out & note that confinement is just one piece of the larger system of correctional control. There are another 840,000 people on parole and a staggering 3.6 million people on probation. /15
Given the onerous conditions of probation and the steep consequences for technical violations, policymakers should be wary of “alternatives to incarceration” that can easily lead to incarceration for people who pose no threat to public safety./16 #CriminalJusticeReform
Beyond identifying the parts of the criminal justice system that impact the most people, we should also focus on who is most impacted and who is left behind by policy change. #Poverty, for example, plays a central role in mass incarceration. /17 #IncarcerationNation
People in prison & jail are disproportionately poor compared to the overall U.S. population.The criminal system punishes poverty, beginning with the high price of money bail: The median felony bail bond ($10,000) is equivalent of 8 months’ income for the typical defendant. /18
People with low incomes are more likely to face the harms of pretrial detention. #Poverty is not only a predictor of incarceration; it is also frequently the outcome, as a criminal record & time spent in prison destroys wealth, creates debt & decimates job opportunities./19
It’s no surprise that people of color who face much greater rates of #poverty are dramatically overrepresented in the nation’s prisons & jails.These racial disparities are most stark for Black Americans, who are 40% of the incarcerated despite being only 13% of U.S residents./20
The same is true for women, whose incarceration rates have for decades risen faster than men’s, and who are often behind bars because of financial obstacles such as an inability to pay bail. /21 #IncarcerationNation #CriminalJusticeReform #TwoAmericas
Now that we can see the big picture of how many people are locked up in the United States in the various types of facilities, we can see that something needs to change. /22 #IncarcerationNation #CriminalJusticeReform #TwoAmericas
Looking at the big picture requires us to ask if it really makes sense to lock up 2.3 million people on any given day, giving this nation the dubious distinction of having the highest incarceration rate in the world. /23 #IncarcerationNation #TwoAmericas
Even narrow policy changes, like reforms to money bail, can meaningfully reduce our society’s use of incarceration. #IncarcerationNation #CriminalJusticeReform #TwoAmericas
At the same time, we should be wary of proposed reforms that seem promising but will have only minimal effect, because they simply transfer people from one slice of the correctional “pie” to another. /24 #IncarcerationNation #CriminalJusticeReform #TwoAmericas
Remember this thread as we wade through the months ahead watching those who believe they are immune from the same laws and penalties that are far too easy for the rest of us to run afoul. We will watch their indignation at even being questioned about their words & actions./25
This entire thread including the graphics are from this excellent source: prisonpolicy.org/reports/pie201… Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie 2019 /26
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