The impact of the incarceration crisis on America’s families and communities has been staggering, according to a new survey by criminal justice non-profit FWD.us and Cornell University.
The survey found that today's incarceration rate stands at 710 inmates per 100,000 people compared to 147 in the United Kingdom, 118 in Canada and 98 in France.
FWD.us and Cornell University point out that more than 1.5 million people are currently behind bars in state or federal prisons in the US. Admissions to jails have been higher than 10 million per year for at least two decades. These figures explain how over 50% of adults (about 113 million people) has had an immediate family member incarcerated for at least one night in jail.
One in seven adults has had an immediate family member locked up for more than one year, and one in 34 adults has had a family member spend at least ten years in prison. The survey said an estimated 6.5 million people have an immediate family member currently incarcerated in jail or prison (1 in 38).
The adverse effects that individuals experience after being incarcerated have been well documented, but more research still needs to be done on the direct and indirect harms and challenges that families and communities suffer.
The study shows that incarceration impacts all types of Americans, "rates of family incarceration are similar for Republicans and Democrats — but the impact is unevenly borne by communities of color and families who are low-income. Black people are 50% more likely than white people to have had a family member incarcerated, and three times more likely to have had a family member incarcerated for one year or longer. People earning less than $25,000 per year are 61% more likely than people earning more than $100,000 to have had a family member incarcerated, and three times more likely to have had a family member incarcerated for one year or longer," the survey said.
The following infographics visualize the figures from the survey and highlight the shocking realities behind the crisis:
Incarceration does not just impact the person who is sent to jail, it reverberates into families and destroys communities. So, the biggest threat to Americans is the American police state.