Since the 1980s, non-violent drug offenses have led to substantial sentencing of people of all races. Punishment lodged against African Americans has been extreme. While the rate of drug use among White and African Americans is the same, the United Church of Christ states that African American men comprise 66% of the people in US prisons for drug use.
Black offenders receive longer sentences compared to whites. Most offenders are in prison for nonviolent drug offenses.
- Connecticut incarcerates 143 women for every 100,000 residents. A significant portion of the Connecticut (51%) female prison population appear to be women in federal facilities located within the state’s borders
- Health Justice CT estimates that In Connecticut, approximately 16% of our prison population consists of persons with mental illness.
- Between the late 1970s and the 2000s, the Connecticut state prison population exploded from less than a few thousand to almost 20,000 in 2008 according to the ACLU of CT.
- Massive public expenditures are needed to maintain the prison industrial complex each year. The US spends $300 billion per year, largely on privatized incarceration, especially in rural areas with small populations, where there is a need for employment and other commerce, including suppliers of goods and services. As a business, the first
priority of private companies is profit; therefore, income for private prisons depends entirely on maintaining a large and stable inmate population. But the demand for guaranteed occupancy rates runs counter to efforts toward early release, alternative sentencing,
and other forms of restitution, especially in cases of non-violent crimes.
Researchers estimate that Connecticut spends almost $700-million each year on incarceration — about $93 dollars per day and about $34,000-$50,000 per year per prisoner.
- The majority-white residents of seven State House districts got significantly more representation in the legislature because each of their districts included at least 1,000 incarcerated African Americans and Latinos from other parts of the state according to the Prison Policy Project.