Fact Sheet

New Solutions Campaign: Out-of-Control Prison Growth

Over the last 20 years, the U.S. prison population has grown at a staggering rate. The engine driving this explosive growth has been the incarceration of nonviolent law offenders and mandatory minimum sentencing. The U.S. now has the largest prison population, numerically and per capita, in the world. More than 2.2 million people are incarcerated in the United States. One in one hundred adults in the U.S. is behind bars. The U.S. accounts for only five percent of the world’s population, but we account for 25 percent of the world’s prisoners.

New Solutions Campaign: Racial Disparities

New Jersey’s racial disparities in incarceration are above the national average. In New Jersey, African Americans and Latinos account for only 27 percent of the population but they account for 81 percent of those incarcerated in the state. While measures of drug use such as the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse consistently find similar rates of drug use for African American and whites, the rate of incarceration for drug offenses for African Americans far exceeds that for whites.

New Solutions Campaign: Economic Costs

Incarceration is an expensive and economically inefficient method for addressing nonviolent drug offenses. It is like using emergency rooms to provide primary medical care — expensive and inefficient. Treatment, community supervision and other innovative and effective programs could save taxpayer money and provide a return on investment.

New Solutions Campaign: Support for Reform

Ineffective and unfair mandatory minimum sentences are opposed by a wide range of legal and professional organizations. These organizations have taken strong public stands against mandatory minimums

New Solutions Campaign: What the Experts Say

Prominent experts on criminal sentencing are increasingly outspoken against ineffective and unfair mandatory minimum sentences and in favor of reform. These experts include Supreme Court Justices, federal judges and national policy experts

New Solutions Campaign: Executive Summary

Since the passage of the Comprehensive Drug Reform Act of 1986, which ushered in a regime of harsh mandatory minimum sentences, the proportion of the prison population incarcerated for nonviolent drug offenses has risen from 11 percent to 32 percent—an almost three-fold increase. New Jersey has the highest proportion of nonviolent drug offenders as a proportion of its overall prison population in the nation (36 percent). This percentage is far above the national average of 20 percent.

Local Organizations Support Ban the Box

Local organizations that support Ban the Box

Ban the Box Fact Sheet

Ban the Box - Removing Barriers to Employment for People with Criminal Convictions

Local Organizations Support Treatment Instead of Incarceration

Organizations that support the passage of HM 441: The Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act, sponsored by Representative Antonio Maestas

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