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There is a negative trend related to the number of people who are in jail in the US since over 2 million people are serving some type of sentence. However, you should know that does not mean that the crime rate has increased significantly. The good thing is that this rate is dropping down. Still, the fact that states are implementing new laws and regulations where many offenses are not tolerated is the main reason for having so many people in jail.
Another great thing is that the officials are keeping this data transparent, which means that you can easily check whether some person you just met was in prison, and what was the reason for that. Also, if you notice that some of your friends or neighbors is missing for a longer time, you can check lookupinmate.org to see if that person might be sentenced for jail. Here are some interesting facts to know about federal inmate records.
1. The Numbers Are Increasing Rapidly
As we already mentioned, there are over two million people in jail at this moment. Also, another five million are under some other type of sentence, like probation, and there are chances some of them to be added into the first group as well. When we compare these numbers with a total population in the US, that means that 5% of all people will serve some type of sentence at least once in their life. However, this is not a reason to panic since that is the result of stricter laws.
2. Racial Inequality
Unfortunately, this is still a big thing in many states in the US. Statistics about the number of non-white people in jails is a reason to worry since around 25% of African-American and around 15% of Latino males will face prison at least once in their life. When it comes to white males, the percentage is much lower, and it is less than 1%. Moreover, we can notice that selling drugs on the streets is still a big thing, and a lot of females is also involved in that. For instance, nearly 90% of all women in jails are there because of illegal drug selling.
3. Income and Status Inequality
This is another fact to be worried about because more than 50% of people who get sentenced didn’t have a job at that moment, and they had a lot of financial struggles. Also, most of those who had a job were working in some lower positions earning only around $150 per week. Therefore, most of these people were not prepared for a proper trial as well since they don’t have enough money to pay a lawyer.
4. Drugs Are The Most Common Case
When we can check the trends in the last 40 years, we can notice that the number of women in jails got five times higher, and most of these cases were related to drugs. Also, we have to mention that there are five times more African-American women than white ones for this type of crime. Another issue is related to drug addiction, which was especially common during the 90s. A lot of prisons decided to take a step further and try to help people with the addiction, but there is still a lot more to be done to deal with this problem.
5. Family Issues
We are not going to talk about conflicts inside families since that is not so common, at least not for jail sentences. However, the number of people in jails who have kids is seriously high. According to the statistics, three from four women have at least one child, and two out of three men. Therefore, it also leads to another challenge, which is taking proper care of these kids so they don’t get left on the streets There are various regulations about child care, and it depends on how serious is the case and whether both parents are in prison.
6. Most Common Crimes
First of all, we have to mention that the illegal possession and use of weapons is still a huge problem, and around 20% of all prisoners got sentenced because of that. The most common crime is related to drug trafficking, and that number of close to 50%. Also, other common crimes are related to illegal immigration, prostitution, scams, and robberies.
When it comes to the racial differences, African-American and Latino people take around 70%, while under 30% are white males. Also, one in five people is not a US citizen. The average age is 40 years, while one in six people is older than 60. Only around 30% of people are in jail for the first time, while those who are serving for most serious crimes take about 25%.
When it comes to discipline and habits, we have to add that more than 15% of people got their sentence prolonged due to their actions made while in prison, while attacking officials or other inmates. Moreover, around 50% of inmates are serving sentences that are longer than 10 years, while around 2% of them are serving a life sentence.
It is very important to track these numbers since it can be used as a factor to measure the condition in some societies. For example, if there is an increasing number of people ending up in jail due to drug trafficking or some other crime, the officials should consider making some actions to deal with this problem in some other way rather than simply arresting a lot of people.
Also, the fact is that racial inequality can be seen in most jails, and that means that the country should work more on the proper integration of minority groups and help them with education and jobs. That is the best way to prevent future generations from making the same steps and committing crimes.
Furthermore, while there are existing programs available in prisons that will prepare these people to start a new life when they get out, it is also very important to improve this system even more since that is the most effective way for preventing these people to repeat any sort of crimes when they get out of jail.