The Facts

  • In 2010, the incarceration rate for black males was 4,347 per 100,000 of the U.S. population, and 678 for white males.
  • Black males are 6 times more likely to be incarcerated than white males.
  • In 2011, 53 percent of the incarcerated were serving state prison sentences for nonviolent crime.
  • Between October 2012 and September 2013, 27.6 percent of drug offenders were incarcerated for crimes related to marijuana, 22.5 percent for powder cocaine, 22.5 percent for methamphetamine, 11.5 percent for crack cocaine, and 8.8 percent for heroin.
  • In 2011, black males accounted for 24 percent of all new drug cases in the U.S.
  • Black males spend an average of 20 percent longer behind bars in federal prisons than do white males for the same crime.
  • Arrest rates for marijuana possession is 4 times higher for African Americans than for Whites.
  • Private prison lobbying and campaign contributions amount to more than 6 million annually.
  • As of 2011, federal prisons were at 33 percent over capacity, while the majority of state prisons were over capacity.
  • In the U.S., there are over 2.38 million people incarcerated in state and federal prisons.