Brief Exhibit B-1
The group, The Sentencing Project, which promotes alternative sentencing, concluded that get-tough policies of the past two decades have failed to reduce violent crime.
The study found there are 1.3 million inmates in American prisons and the incarceration rate has reached an all-time high of 519 per 100,000 population, up 22 percent since 1989.
Of 52 nations surveyed, only Russia had a higher incarceration rate, 558 per 100,000.
England had 93 behind bars for every 100,000, while France had 84, Germany 80, Japan 36 and India 23.
The report found that black Americans are incarcerated at six times the rate of whites, and that the 583,000 black men in prisons and jails surpassed the 537,000 enrolled in higher education.
It said that despite the doubling of the inmate population since 1980, there has been "no consistent impact" on violent crime. Only 16 percent of the 155 percent increase in new court commitments to state prisons from 1980 to 1992 came from violent offenders, while drug, property and public order offenders accounted for 84 percent.
The current emphasis on tougher penalties continues policies adopted over the past 20 years "that we now see have failed to reduce violent crimes," said Marc Mauer, assistant director of The Sentencing Project.
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