According to the US Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), 2,220,300 adults (1 in 110) were incarcerated in US federal and state prisons, and county jails in 2013… Additionally, 4,751,400 adults in 2013 (1 in 51) were on probation or on parole. (Source: Wikipedia)
Prison system costs now account for 1 out of every 15 state general fund discretionary dollars. Criminal justice is the second-fastest-growing category of state budgets, behind only Medicaid, and 90 percent of that spending goes to prisons. (Source: ACLU)
Problems like mental illness, substance use disorders, and homelessness are more appropriately addressed outside of the criminal justice system altogether. Services like drug treatment and affordable housing cost less and can have a better record of success. (Source: ACLU)
Our program was the outgrowth of an in-custody gang diversion class (co-created by our organization’s founder, when he worked in a large county jail system). We understand the need of incarcerated men and women to receive treatment services and CBT-based programs, coupled with follow-up services after their release.
Some excellent sources of incarceration data are listed below.