Prison Fellowship advocates for a restorative response to crime that recognizes the value and potential of every human life. With an emphasis on proportional punishment, constructive prison culture, and second chances, we promote reforms that transform those responsible for crime, validate victims, and engage communities.
A SNAPSHOT OF THE FEDERAL SYSTEM
- Almost 170,000 men and women are currently in the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
- 47% of high-security federal institutions are over-capacity.
- More than a third of federal prisoners sentenced on drug charges has no prior criminal history.
- $7.1 billion taxpayer dollars are spent annually to incarcerate federal prisoners.
PRISON INFLATION BEGINS AT ARREST
- More than 10.5 million arrests were made in America in 2017.
- Among the highest number of these arrests were for drug abuse violations (1,632,921), followed by larceny-theft (1,249,757) and driving under the influence (990,678).
USE OF PLEA BARGAINS TO REDUCE CROWDED CRIMINAL COURT DOCKETS
- Only 3% of Americans charged with a federal crime will receive a jury trial.
- Only 5% of Americans charged with a state crime will receive a jury trial.
- In federal grand jury cases alone, data from 2010 shows an indictment rate of 99.99 percent.1
HUMAN COSTS OF PRISON GROWTH
- Nearly 2.1 million Americans are currently behind bars.
- 1 in every 28 American children has a parent in prison.
- 70 million (1 in 3) adults in America have a criminal record.
FISCAL COSTS OF PRISON GROWTH
- $33,274 per year to incarcerate one adult
- $80 billion/year spent on corrections generally
- $87 billion/year in potential economic output lost due to collateral costs of incarceration2
GOOD LEGISLATIVE SOLUTIONS CAN…
- Address lack of proportionality in sentencing guidelines for property and drug crime.
- Reduce unduly long mandatory minimums.
- Increase probation opportunities for appropriate candidates.
- Adapt punishment methods for technical probation violations.
- Promote community corrections.
- Reinvest achieved savings into a more functional infrastructure of community corrections.
- Reduce collateral consequences by measures like restoring voting rights and implementing fair-chance hiring policies for public employees.