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Russell Webster

Russell Webster

Criminal Justice & substance misuse expert and author of this blog.

There are 3.9 million people on probation in the USA

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You might think that 2.3 million people incarcerated is a lot of people, but that number only scratches at the surface. That number represents just the number of people imprisoned at any one time. Here's what else PPI can teach us...

Mass Incarceration

The Prison Policy Initiative (@PrisonPolicy) under the leadership of Peter Wagner (@PWpolicy) consistently provides the most robust and accurate information about the US criminal justice system.

Their most recent output: The Whole Pie gives an incredibly detailed picture of how many people are locked up in the United States, what sort of prison they are in, their primary offence and a whole lot more.

Even more impressively, most of this information has been integrated into one concise infographic:

pie2015

Some key numbers

You might think that 2.3 million people incarcerated is a lot of people, but that number only scratches at the surface. That number represents just the number of people imprisoned at any one time. Here’s what else PPI can teach us:

  • Over 11 million people cycle through local jails each year
  • There are 1.6 million arrests every year for drug offences
  • There are 169,000 people in state prisons for murder and a further 18,000 for manslaughter
  • There are 2,000 children in prison for “status offences” – that is for behaviour which wouldn’t be illegal if they were adults, typically running away or truancy.
  • There are 850,000 people on parole at any one time and
  • A staggering 3.9 million people on probation

Without this sort of information, policy makers in the US wouldn’t be making the radical changes they are to reduce imprisonment.

We need to wait and see whether Justice Secretary Michael Gove will (be able to) follow through on his commitment to follow suit.

 

 

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All Probation Posts are sponsored by Unilink

With over 20 years’ experience in the criminal justice sector, Unilink is a world leader in probation and community corrections software applications, as well as prisoner self-service, prisoner/case management and prisoner communications. Unilink’s integrated suite of products provide a complete digital solution enabling efficient running of prisons and probation. Underpinned by biometrics it integrates seamlessly to deliver security, efficiency and value – while being proven to help rehabilitate prisoners.

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