Some figures compiled in the Coalition for Prisoners’ Rights Newsletter (April 2016). Reprinted with Permission.
I. Number Incarcerated in U.S., 2014
1.5 million people at an annual per person cost of $80 billion–approximately $51,250 each. (A “free world” minimum wage of $15/hr would come to $30,000.)
II. Number Affected by ”Felony Drug Ban”
Approximately 180,000 women in the 12 most impacted states have been banned from welfare benefits for life.
III. Number Disproportionately Imprisoned
In 2014, 6% of all African American men aged 30-39, 2% of Latino men and 1% of “white” men, were imprisoned.
IV. Disproportionate Numbers of Youth
In 2013, the commitment rate for African American youth was four times higher than for “white” youth, an increase of 10% over ten years.
V. Amounts of Prison Guards Salaries
The 29,000 members of the California Correctional Peace Officers Association will receive a 9% salary increase over the next three years. The base salary currently starts at $63,000 annually and can range to nearly $80,000. Guards can earn over $100,000 a year with overtime at the state’s 34 prisons.