2


Rising Incarceration Rates

In 1973, after 50 years of stability, the rate of incarceration in the United States began a sustained period of growth. In 1972, 161 U.S. residents were incarcerated in prisons and jails per 100,000 population; by 2007, that rate had more than quintupled to a peak of 767 per 100,000. From its high point in 2009 and 2010, the population of state and federal prisoners declined slightly in 2011 and 2012. Still, the incarceration rate, including those in jail, was 707 per 100,000 in 2012, more than four times the rate in 1972. In absolute numbers, the prison and jail population had grown to 2.23 million people, yielding a rate of incarceration that was by far the highest in the world.1

This chapter begins the committee’s exploration of this expansion of incarceration in the United States. It starts by tracing trends in American

_________________

1Small differences in incarceration rates from different sources result mainly from whether jurisdiction counts (prisoners under the jurisdiction of the state, a small number of whom may be housed in county facilities) or custody counts (the actual number housed in state facilities) are used. Only jurisdiction counts are available in a continuous series from 1925 to 2012. A total incarceration rate that includes the jail population should be based on custody counts; otherwise some double counting will occur whereby prisoners housed in county jails are also counted as being under state jurisdiction. Rates in Figure 2-1 are based on jurisdiction counts, while rates in Figure 2-2 are based on custody counts. As noted in Appendix B, the rates of state and federal imprisonment, 1925-2012 (Figure 2-1), were taken from Maguire (n.d., Table 6.28.2011) and from Glaze and Herberman (2013, Table 2). Data for jail incarceration, 1980-2012, were taken from Maguire (n.d., Table 6.1.2011) and from Glaze and Herberman (2013, Table 2). Data on jail incarceration, 1972-1979, were taken from Hindelang et al. (1977, p. 632) and Parisi et al. (1979). Missing years were interpolated. International incarceration rates (Figure 2-2) were taken from International Centre for Prison Studies (2013).



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2 Rising Incarceration Rates I n 1973, after 50 years of stability, the rate of incarceration in the United States began a sustained period of growth. In 1972, 161 U.S. residents were incarcerated in prisons and jails per 100,000 population; by 2007, that rate had more than quintupled to a peak of 767 per 100,000. From its high point in 2009 and 2010, the population of state and federal prisoners declined slightly in 2011 and 2012. Still, the incarceration rate, including those in jail, was 707 per 100,000 in 2012, more than four times the rate in 1972. In absolute numbers, the prison and jail population had grown to 2.23 million people, yielding a rate of incarceration that was by far the highest in the world.1 This chapter begins the committee’s exploration of this expansion of incarceration in the United States. It starts by tracing trends in American 1  Small differences in incarceration rates from different sources result mainly from whether jurisdiction counts (prisoners under the jurisdiction of the state, a small number of whom may be housed in county facilities) or custody counts (the actual number housed in state facilities) are used. Only jurisdiction counts are available in a continuous series from 1925 to 2012. A total incarceration rate that includes the jail population should be based on custody counts; otherwise some double counting will occur whereby prisoners housed in county jails are also counted as being under state jurisdiction. Rates in Figure 2-1 are based on jurisdiction counts, while rates in Figure 2-2 are based on custody counts. As noted in Appendix B, the rates of state and federal imprisonment, 1925-2012 (Figure 2-1), were taken from Maguire (n.d., Table 6.28.2011) and from Glaze and Herberman (2013, Table 2). Data for jail incarceration, 1980- 2012, were taken from Maguire (n.d., Table 6.1.2011) and from Glaze and Herberman (2013, Table 2). Data on jail incarceration, 1972-1979, were taken from Hindelang et al. (1977, p. 632) and Parisi et al. (1979). Missing years were interpolated. International incarceration rates (Figure 2-2) were taken from International Centre for Prison Studies (2013). 33

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34 THE GROWTH OF INCARCERATION imprisonment rates through the twentieth century and by comparing rates of incarceration in the United States with those in other countries. The chapter then explores the fundamental question of the relationship of the growth in incarceration to crime. To this end, it summarizes two lines of research: the first relates trends in imprisonment to trends in rate of arrests per crime and the chances of prison admission, while the second focuses on the high rate of incarceration among African Americans, calculating how much of the racial disparity in incarceration can be explained by racial disparities in arrests and offending. The following section elaborates on the analysis of racial disparity in incarceration by reporting incarceration rates for whites and minorities, at different ages and different levels of education. That analysis reveals that incarceration rates among prime-age, minority men with very low levels of schooling are extraordinarily high. The empirical portrait presented in this chapter points strongly to the role of changes in criminal justice policy in the emergence of historically and comparatively unprecedented levels of penal confinement. As a result of the lengthening of sentences and greatly expanded drug law enforcement and imprisonment for drug offenses, criminal defendants became more likely to be sentenced to prison and remained there significantly longer than in the past. The policy shifts that propelled the growth in incarceration had disproportionately large effects on African Americans and Latinos. Indeed, serving time in prison has become a normal life event among recent birth cohorts of African American men who have not completed high school. U.S. INCARCERATION IN HISTORICAL AND COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) has reported the incarceration rate for state and federal prisons from 1925 to 2012 (see Figure 2-1). Through the middle of the twentieth century, from 1925 to 1972, the combined state and federal imprisonment rate, excluding jails, fluctuated around 110 per 100,000 population, rising to a high of 137 in 1939. As noted earlier, after this period of relative stability, the imprisonment rate grew rapidly and con- tinuously from 1972, increasing annually by 6 to 8 percent through 2000. The rate of growth slowed in the first decade of the 2000s, reaching a peak of 506 per 100,000 in 2007 and 2008. This high plateau was sustained through the end of the decade. In 2012, the imprisonment rate of 471 per 100,000 was still 4.3 times the historical average of 110 per 100,000. If the numbers in jail are added, the incarceration rate totaled 767 per 100,000 in 2007 and 707 per 100,000 in 2012 (Glaze and Herberman, 2013). When stated in absolute numbers rather than rates, the growth in the size of the penal population has been extraordinary: in 2012, the total of 2.23 million people held in U.S. prisons and jails was nearly seven times the number in

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RISING INCARCERATION RATES 35 900 800 700 Prison and jail 600 Incarceration per 100,000 500 400 300 200 100 Prison only 0 1929 1934 1939 1944 1949 1954 1959 1964 1969 1974 1979 1984 1989 1994 1999 2004 2009 Year FIGURE 2-1  U.S. state and federal imprisonment rate (1925-2012) and total in- carceration including prison and jail inmates (1972-2012) per 100,000 residents. SOURCES: The 1925-2011 imprisonment series is from the Sourcebook of Crimi- nal Justice Statistics (Maguire, n.d., Table 6.28.2012). The jail population series was constructed from various Sourcebook Figure 2-1 total adult correctional tables on the population, including Table 6.1.2011, which encompasses the period 1980-2011. (See also Appendix B.) Prison and jail population figures, 2012, are from Glaze and Herberman (2013). U.S. population estimate for 2012 is from the U.S. Census Bureau (n.d.-b).

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36 THE GROWTH OF INCARCERATION United States 707 Russian Federation 474 Ukraine 286 Poland 209 Turkey 188 Hungary 186 Czech Republic 157 United Kingdom (England & Wales) 148 Spain 145 Portugal 137 Australia 133 Canada 118 Greece 111 Belgium 108 Italy 105 France 100 Austria 98 Netherlands 82 Switzerland 82 Germany 77 Denmark 73 Norway 72 Sweden 67 Finland 58 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 400 450 500 550 600 650 700 750 Incarceration Rate (per 100,000) FIGURE 2-2  Incarceration rates per 100,000 population of European and selected common law countries. Figure 2-2 NOTES: Rate estimates vary slightly from those of other sources for the United States. Year of reporting for the United States is 2012; years for other nations range from 2011 to 2013. SOURCE: International Centre for Prison Studies (2013). 1972.2 The three levels of government together had expanded the nation’s penal population by more than 1.9 million people since 1972. The historically high U.S. incarceration rate also is unsurpassed inter- nationally. European statistics on incarceration are compiled by the Council of Europe, and international incarceration rates are recorded as well by the International Centre for Prison Studies (IPS) at the University of Essex in the United Kingdom. The 2011 IPS data show approximately 10.1 million people (including juveniles) incarcerated worldwide. In 2009, the United States (2.29 million) accounted for about 23 percent of the world total. In 2012, the U.S. incarceration rate per 100,000 population was again the 2  Here “incarceration” is used to refer to the numbers in prison or in jail at a given time. Consistent with the committee’s charge and main focus on those sentenced to prison, generally for periods of a year or more, the term “incarceration” is used in much of the report to refer only to those in prison. However, where jails are discussed or the context does not make the usage clear, the terms “prison” and “jail” are used.

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RISING INCARCERATION RATES 37 highest reported (707), significantly exceeding the next largest per capita rates of Rwanda (492) and Russia (474) (International Centre for Prison Studies, 2013). Figure 2-2 compares the U.S. adult incarceration rate with the rates of European countries, Australia, and Canada. The Western Eu- ropean democracies have incarceration rates that, taken together, average around 100 per 100,000, one-seventh the rate of the United States. The former state socialist countries have very high incarceration rates by Euro- pean standards, two to five times higher than the rates of Western Europe. But even the imprisonment rate for the Russian Federation is only about two-thirds that of the United States. In short, the current U.S. rate of incarceration is unprecedented by both historical and comparative standards. Trends in Prison and Jail Populations Discussion and analysis of the U.S. penal system generally focus on three main institutions for adult penal confinement: state prisons, federal prisons, and local jails. State prisons are run by state departments of cor- rection, holding sentenced inmates serving time for felony offenses, usually longer than a year. Federal prisons are run by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons and hold prisoners who have been convicted of federal crimes and pretrial detainees. Local jails usually are county or municipal facilities that incarcer- ate defendants prior to trial, and also hold those serving short sentences, typically under a year. This sketch captures only the broad outlines of a penal system with enormous heterogeneity. For example, several small states (Alaska, Con- necticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Rhode Island, Vermont) hold all inmates (including those awaiting trial and those serving both short and long sen- tences) under the jurisdiction of a single state correctional agency. In Mas- sachusetts, county houses of correction incarcerate those serving up to 3 years. Many prisons have separate units for pretrial populations. But this simple description does not encompass the nation’s entire custodial popu- lation. Minors, under 18 years old, typically are held in separate facilities under the authority of juvenile justice agencies. Additional adults are held in police lockups, immigration detention facilities, and military prisons and under civil commitment to state mental hospitals. Despite the great institutional complexity, prisons and jails account for the vast majority of penal confinement. It is here that the transformation of American criminal justice has been most striking, and it is here that the U.S. incarceration rate increased to historically and internationally unprec- edented levels.

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38 THE GROWTH OF INCARCERATION Trends in the State Prison Population State prisons accounted for around 57 percent of the total adult incar- cerated population in 2012, confining mainly those serving time for felony convictions and parolees reincarcerated for violating their parole terms. Later in the chapter, we examine trends in state prison dynamics in greater detail, by offense categories, and decompose the effect of increased admis- sion rates and increased time served on the rise in the rate of state imprison- ment. The state prison population can be broadly divided into three offense categories: violent offenses (including murder, rape, and robbery), property offenses (primarily auto vehicle theft, burglary, and larceny/theft), and drug offenses (manufacturing, possession, and sale). In 2009, about 716,000 of 1.36 million state prison inmates had been convicted of violent crimes. The most marked change in the composition of the state prison popula- tion involves the large increase in the number of those convicted for drug offenses. At the beginning of the prison expansion, drug offenses accounted for a very small percentage of the state prison population. In 1996, 23 per- cent of state prisoners were convicted of drug offenses (Mumola and Beck, 1997, p. 9). By the end of 2010, 17.4 percent of state prisoners had been convicted of drug crimes (Carson and Sabol, 2012, Table 9). Trends in the Federal Prison Population Federal prisons incarcerate people sentenced for federal crimes, so the mix of offenses among their populations differs greatly from that of state prisons. The main categories of federal crimes involve robbery, fraud, drugs, weapons, and immigration. These five categories represented 88 percent of all sentenced federal inmates in 2010.3 Federal crimes are quite different from those discussed above for state prisons. Robbery entails primarily bank robbery involving federally insured institutions; fraud includes violations of statutes pertaining to lending/credit institutions, interstate wire/communications, forgery, embezzlement, and counterfeiting; drug offenses typically involve manufacturing, importation, export, distribution, or dispensing of controlled substances; weapons of- fenses concern the manufacturing, importation, possession, receipt, and licensing of firearms and cases involving a crime of violence or drug traf- ficking when committed with a deadly weapon; and immigration offenses include primarily unlawful entry and reentry, with a smaller fraction involv- ing misuse of visas and transporting or harboring of illegal entrants (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2012a). 3  At least one-half of the remainder comprised those sentenced for possession/trafficking in obscene materials (3.7 percent) or for racketeering/extortion (2.7 percent) (Bureau of Justice Statistics, n.d.-b).

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RISING INCARCERATION RATES 39 FIGURE 2-3 Percentage growth in federal and state prison populations and the local jail population by decade, 1972 to 2010. NOTE: Growth is measured as the percentage change from 1972 to 1980, from 1981 to 1990, from 1991 to 2000, and from 2001 to 2010. SOURCE: See Appendix B. Figure 2-3 Figure 2-3 shows the Bitmappedgrowth in federal and state prison percentage populations and the local jail population over the period of the incar- ceration boom. In the first decade, 1972 to 1980, the state prison and jail populations each grew by about 60 percent. In the 1980s, the incarcerated population more than doubled in size across all three levels. By 1990, the incarcerated population had increased to more than four times its 1972 level. By 2000, state prison and jail populations were about six times higher than in 1972, and their growth through the 2000s slowed significantly. Beginning from a much smaller base, the federal prison population grew at a much faster rate than the state prison and local jail populations in the 1980s and 1990s. Even in the 2000s, when penal populations in state and local institutions had almost ceased to grow, the population of the federal system increased in size by more than 40 percent from 2001 to 2010.

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40 THE GROWTH OF INCARCERATION Trends in the Jail Population In 2012, one-third of the adult incarcerated population was housed in local jails. Jail is often the gateway to imprisonment. Jails serve local communities and hold those who have been arrested, have refused or been unable to pay bail, and are awaiting trial. They also hold those accused of misdemeanor offenses—often arrested for drug-related offenses or public disorder—and those sentenced to less than a year. John Irwin’s (1970) study of jail describes its occupants as poor, undereducated, unemployed, socially detached, and disreputable. Because of their very low socioeconomic sta- tus, jail inhabitants, in Irwin’s language, are “the rabble,” and others have similarly described them as “social trash,” “dregs,” and “riff raff” (Irwin, 1970, pp. 2-3; see also Cornelius, 2012). The jail population is about one-half the size of the combined state and federal prison population and since the early 1970s has grown about as rapidly as the state prison population. It is concentrated in a relatively small number of large urban counties. The short sentences and pretrial detention of the jail population create a high turnover and vast numbers of admissions. BJS estimates that in 2012, the jail population totaled around 745,000, with about 60 percent of that population turning over each week (Minton, 2013, Table 7; Glaze and Herberman, 2013). In 2010, the na- tion’s jails admitted around 13 million inmates (Minton, 2011). With such high turnover, the growth of the jail population has greatly expanded the footprint of penal confinement. The Increasing Scope of Correctional Supervision The significant increase in the number of people behind bars since 1972 occurred in parallel with the expansion of community corrections. Figure 2-4 shows the scale of the entire adult correctional system. Correc- tional supervision encompasses prisons and jails and also the community supervision of those on probation and parole. Probation usually supervises people in the community who can, following revocation for breach of con- ditions, be resentenced to prison or jail. Like the incarcerated population, the probation population increased greatly in absolute terms, from 923,000 in 1976 to 4.06 million in 2010, declining slightly to 3.94 million in 2012. Parole agencies typically supervise people who have served part of their sentence in prison and have been released back to the community, subject to such conditions as reporting to a parole officer, staying drug-free, and maintaining employment. Therefore, parole supervision can be expected to increase as its source, the numbers in prison, grows. From 1975 (the earli- est year for which data are available) to 2010, the population under parole

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RISING INCARCERATION RATES 41 Total Correctional Population (1000s) 8,000 6,000 4,000 2,000 0 1980 1990 2000 2010 Year FIGURE 2-4  Total adult correctional population, including state and federal prison, local jail, and probation and parole populations, 1972 to 2010. SOURCE: See Appendix B. Figure 2-4 Bitmapped supervision grew by a factor of six, from 143,000 to 841,000. In 2012, it stood at 851,000. The large probation and parole populations also expand a significant point of entry into incarceration. If probationers or parolees violate the conditions of their supervision, they risk revocation and subsequent in- carceration. In recent decades, an increasing proportion of all state prison admissions have been due to parole violations (Petersilia, 2003, pp. 148ff). As a proportion of all state prison admissions, returning parolees made up about 20 percent in 1980, rising to 30 percent by 1991 and remaining between 30 and 40 percent until 2010. This represents a significant shift in the way the criminal justice system handled criminal offenses, increasing re- liance on imprisonment rather than other forms of punishment, supervision, or reintegration. Parole may be revoked for committing a new crime or for violating the conditions of supervision without any new criminal conduct (“technical violators”), or someone on parole may be charged with a new crime and receive a new sentence.

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42 THE GROWTH OF INCARCERATION The rising numbers of parole violations contributed to the increase in incarceration rates. The number of parole violators admitted to state prison following new convictions and sentences has remained relatively constant since the early 1990s. The number of technical violators more than doubled from 1990 to 2000. In 2010, the approximately 130,000 people reincarcer- ated after parole had been revoked for technical violations accounted for about 20 percent of state admissions (Carson and Sabol, 2012, Table 12; Glaze and Bonczar, 2011, Table 7). These returns accounted for 23 percent of all exits from parole that year (Glaze and Bonczar, 2011, Table 7). The overall correctional population—including probationers and parolees—has grown substantially since 1972. By 2010, slightly more than 7 million U.S. residents, 1 of every 33 adults, were incarcerated in prison or jail or were being supervised on parole or probation. At the end of 2012, the total was 6.94 million, or 1 of every 35 adults. The rise in incarceration rates should thus be understood as just part of a broad expansion of the criminal justice system into the lives of the U.S. population. Variation in Incarceration Rates Among States Trends in incarceration rates vary greatly among states. While the na- tional imprisonment rate increased nearly 5-fold from 1972 to 2010, state incarceration rates in Maine and Massachusetts slightly more than doubled. At the other end of the spectrum, the rates in Louisiana and Mississippi increased more than 6-fold. To see the change in trends, it is useful to divide the period since 1972 into two parts: from 1972 to 2000 and from 2000 to 2010 (see Figure 2-5). As discussed above, the period from 1972 to 2000 was a time of rapid growth for state prison populations; the change in incarceration rates in this period is indicated for each state in blue. The largest increases in this period generally occurred in southern and western states. From 1972 to 2000, incarceration rates grew most in Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas. In Louisiana, the rate grew by 700 per 100,000 population—more than 10-fold—rising to 801 per 100,000 by 2000, then climbing further to 867 by 2010. Growth in state incarceration rates was much slower in the northeast and midwest. In Maine and Minnesota, the rates grew by only around 100 per 100,000. These two states had the lowest incarceration rates by 2010—148 for Maine and 185 for Minnesota. In the period since 2000, incarceration rates have grown more slowly across the country. As shown by the red circles in Figure 2-5, a few states have registered very large declines, including Delaware, Georgia, and Texas in the south and New Jersey and New York in the northeast. The growth in the incarcerated population represents a broad transfor- mation of penal institutions extending across the federal, state, and local

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RISING INCARCERATION RATES 43 FIGURE 2-5  Change in state imprisonment rates per 100,000 population, 50 states, 1972-2000 and 2000-2010. SOURCE: See Appendix B. Figure 2-5 Bitmapped levels and all regions of the country. Incarceration rates grew most from 1972 to 2000 and in the south and the west. Some evidence indicates a new dynamic emerging over the last decade, as growth in state incarceration rates has slowed significantly across the nation.

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RISING INCARCERATION RATES 59 over the entire period for which race-specific incarceration rates are avail- able. Although the disparity had declined from its peak in the early 1990s, it was still very large—of a magnitude that exceeds racial differences for many other common social indicators. For example, black-white ratios for indicators as varied as wealth, employment, poverty, and infant mortality are significantly smaller than the 4.6 to 1 ratio in imprisonment (Beck and Blumstein, 2012; Western, 2006). Violent Crimes The relative involvement of blacks in violent crimes has declined signifi- cantly since the late 1980s (see Figure 2-12). From 1972 to 1980, the rela- tive share of blacks in arrests for rape and aggravated assault fell by around one-fourth; more modest declines in their share of arrests were recorded for murder and robbery from the 1970s to the 2000s. In the 1970s, blacks FIGURE 2-12  Average percentage of blacks among total arrests for murder and non-negligent manslaughter, robbery, forcible rape, and aggravated assault, by decade, 1972 to 2011. SOURCE: Uniform Crime Reports race-specific arrest rates, 1972 to 2011. Figure 2-12 Bitmapped

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60 THE GROWTH OF INCARCERATION accounted for about 54 percent of all homicide arrests; by the 2000s, that share had fallen below half. For robbery, blacks accounted for 55 percent of arrests in the 1970s, falling to 52 percent by the 2000s. For rape, blacks accounted for about 46 percent of all arrests in the 1970s, declining by 14 percentage points to 32 percent by the 2000s. The declining share of blacks in violent arrests also is marked for aggravated assaults, which constitute a large majority of violent serious crimes: 41 percent in the 1970s and just 33 percent in the 2000s. These figures show that arrests of blacks for violent crimes constitute smaller percentages of absolute national numbers that are less than half what they were 20 or 30 years ago (Tonry and Melewski, 2008). Violent crime has been falling in the United States since 1991. In absolute terms, involvement of blacks in violent crime has followed the general pattern; in relative terms, it has fallen substantially more than the overall averages. Yet even though participation of blacks in serious violent crimes has de- clined significantly, disparities in imprisonment between blacks and whites have not fallen by much; as noted earlier, the incarceration rate for non- Hispanic black males remains seven times that of non-Hispanic whites. Drug Crimes The situation for drug offenses is similar to that for violent crime in some respects, but there is a critical difference. Although, according to both arrest and victimization data, blacks have higher rates of involvement than whites in violent crimes, the prevalence of drug use is only slightly higher among blacks than whites for some illicit drugs and slightly lower for oth- ers; the difference is not substantial. There is also little evidence, when all drug types are considered, that blacks sell drugs more often than whites (Tonry, 2011a, Chapter 3). In recent years, drug-related arrest rates for blacks have been three to four times higher than those for whites (see Figure 2-13). In the late 1980s, the rates were six times higher for blacks than for whites (Blumstein and Wallman, 2006). The recent relative decrease in racial disparity in drug ar- rests did not result from reduced police emphasis on black sellers but from increases in total drug arrests and greater emphasis on crimes related to marijuana. Marijuana arrestees are preponderantly white and are much less likely than heroin and cocaine arrestees to wind up in prison (Room et al., 2013). Absolute numbers of blacks arrested for trafficking in cocaine and heroin have not fallen significantly; they simply make up a smaller percent- age of overall arrest numbers that are rising.

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RISING INCARCERATION RATES 61 2,500 2,000 1,500 1,000 500 0 Year FIGURE 2-13 Drug arrest rates for blacks and whites per 100,000 population, 1972 to 2011. SOURCES: Uniform Crime Reports race-specific arrest rates, 1980 to 2011 (ac- cessed from BJS). 1972 to 1979 Figure 2-13 Federal Bureau of Investigation is taken from (1990). Bitmapped Incarceration of Hispanics In the discussion of black and white incarceration rates thus far, His- panics have been included in those two racial groups. Distinguishing incar- ceration rates for Hispanics helps underline ethnicity as another source of disparity. Separating Hispanics from non-Hispanics also modifies under- standing of the racial disparity in incarceration rates between non-Hispanic blacks and whites. In 1974, only 12 percent of the white state prison popu- lation and a negligible proportion of blacks reported being of Hispanic origin. By 2004, 24 percent of the white prison population and around 3 percent of blacks reported being Hispanic.

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62 THE GROWTH OF INCARCERATION As the white prison population has come to include more Hispanics, the raw black-white disparity in incarceration has tended to shrink because of the relatively high incarceration rate among Hispanics. An alternative approach that separates race and ethnicity entails studying incarceration among Hispanics and non-Hispanic blacks and whites. Most published data on incarceration trends distinguish racial groups but not ethnicities. The data reviewed earlier on prison admission and imprisonment rates by race were taken from the National Prisoner Statistics (NPS) Series, an annual survey of state and federal departments of correction conducted by BJS. The NPS survey was first administered in 1926 and has gathered counts of the prison populations by race and sex. Data on Hispanics have been collected since 1974 in the BJS Survey of Inmates of State Correctional Facilities and since 1972 in the Survey of Inmates in Local Jails. Data also are available from the decennial census, which collects information on the entire U.S. population, including information on national origins and, for immigrants, country of birth. By combining NPS counts with survey data, BJS has con- structed state and federal imprisonment rates for Hispanics since 2000, and rates can be constructed back to 1990 using the BJS methods (Guerino et al., 2011; Beck and Blumstein, 2012). With additional assumptions about the Hispanic fraction of the federal prison population (which is never more than about 10 percent of the total prison population), estimates of the prison and jail incarceration rates for Hispanics, non-Hispanic whites, and non-Hispanic blacks can be constructed for the entire period of the growth in incarceration from 1972 to 2010 (see Appendix B). Figure 2-14 reports incarceration rates separately for Hispanics, non- Hispanic whites, and non-Hispanic blacks aged 18 to 64. These age-specific incarceration rates account usefully for differences in the age distribution among the three race-ethnicity groups, adjusting for the relative youth of the black and Hispanic populations. The series before 1990 are represented by dashed lines indicating estimates based on 1991 surveys of federal prisoners. Hispanic incarceration rates fall between the rates for non-Hispanic blacks and whites. Over the period of the growth in incarceration rates, the rate has been two to three times higher for Hispanics than for non-Hispanic whites. From 1972 to 1990, the Hispanic rate grew strongly along with in- carceration in the rest of the population. Through the 1990s, the Hispanic rate remained roughly flat at around 1,800 per 100,000 of the population aged 18 to 64. Since 2000, the incarceration rate for Hispanics has fallen from 1,820 to just under 1,500. The Hispanic population itself is heterogeneous, including U.S. citizens and noncitizens and a large number of different national origins. Ruben Rumbaut has explored variation in incarceration within the Hispanic popu- lation, relying mainly on census data and survey data on the immigrant

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RISING INCARCERATION RATES 63 4,000 Non-Hispanic whites Non-Hispanic blacks Hispanics 3,000 2,000 1,000 0 Year FIGURE 2-14  Prison and jail incarceration rates per 100,000 population for non- Hispanic whites, non-Hispanic blacks, and Hispanics, aged 18 to 64, 1972 to 2010. Figure 2-14 SOURCE: See Appendix B in this report. Bitmapped population (Rumbaut and Ewing, 2007; Rumbaut, 2009). Rumbaut finds that incarceration rates (and arrest rates) for the immigrant population are relatively low given their poverty rates and education. The highest in- carceration rates are found among long-standing national groups—Puerto Ricans and Cubans. For national groups with large shares of recent im- migrants—Guatemalans and Salvadorans for example—incarceration rates are very low. The largest national group, Mexicans, includes significant na- tive-born and foreign-born populations. The incarceration rate indicated in the 2000 census is more than five times higher for native-born U.S. citizens of Mexican descent than for U.S. immigrants born in Mexico. In fact, U.S.- born Mexicans have higher incarceration rates than any other U.S.-born Hispanic group (Rumbaut, 2009). Overall, the incarceration rate for those of Mexican origin is lower than that for either Puerto Ricans or Cubans.

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64 THE GROWTH OF INCARCERATION This discussion of incarceration of Hispanics has been limited to those in prisons or local jails, and does not encompass immigrant detention out- side of those institutions. There is evidence that the latter form of deten- tion has increased significantly in the past decade in specialized immigrant detention facilities (Dingeman and Rumbaut, 2010; Meissner et al., 2013; National Research Council, 2011, Chapter 4), but this type of incarceration lies beyond the committee’s charge. CONCENTRATION OF INCARCERATION BY AGE, SEX, RACE/ETHNICITY, AND EDUCATION Although racial and ethnic disparities in incarceration are very large, differences by age, sex, and education are even larger. The combined ef- fects of racial and education disparities have produced extraordinarily high incarceration rates among young minority men with little schooling. The age and gender composition of the incarcerated population has changed since the early 1970s, but the broader demographic significance of the penal system lies in the very high rate of incarceration among prime-age men. The prison population also has aged as time served in prison has increased, but 60 percent of all prisoners still were under age 40 in 2011 (Sykes, 2013). Incarceration rates have increased more rapidly for females than for males since the early 1970s. In 1972, the prison and jail incarceration rate for men was estimated to be 24 times higher than that for women. By 2010, men’s incarceration rate was about 11 times higher. Women’s incarceration rate had thus risen twice as rapidly as men’s in the period of growing incar- ceration rates. Yet despite the rapid growth in women’s incarceration, only 7 percent of all sentenced state and federal prisoners were female by 2011 (Carson and Sabol, 2012, Table 5). In comparison, 13 percent of local jail populations were women by that year (Maguire, n.d., Table  7.17.2011). The racial disparity in incarceration for women is similar to that seen for men. As with the trends for men, the very high rate of incarceration for African American women fell relative to the rate for white women, al- though the 3 to 1 black-white disparity in women’s imprisonment in 2009 was still substantial (Mauer, 2013). Figure 2-15 shows estimates of prison and jail incarceration rates for male non-Hispanic whites, non-Hispanic blacks, and Hispanics aged 20 to 39 in 1972 and in 2010. For these series, we used survey data to calculate incarceration by different levels of schooling; we also used information on self-reported ethnicity in surveys dating from the early 1970s to separate Hispanics from non-Hispanic blacks and whites (see Appendix B). For each racial and ethnic group, the incarceration rate is shown for those with at least some college education, for those with no college education (including high school graduates and high school dropouts), and for those who had not

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RISING INCARCERATION RATES 65 Percentage Incarcerated White Hispanic Black FIGURE 2-15  Prison and jail incarceration rates for men aged 20-39 by education and race/ethnicity, 1972 and 2010. NOTES: C = at least some college; HS = all noncollege men; DO = less than 12 Figure 2-15 years of completed schooling. Bitmapped SOURCE: See Appendix B in this report. completed high school or received a general equivalency diploma (GED). From 1972 to 2010, the U.S. population’s educational attainment, including levels of college attendance, increased. In particular, high school dropout rates declined substantially over this period, so the high school dropouts of 2010 are likely to be a narrower and certainly more educationally disadvan- taged population than those who dropped out in 1972. Still, the proportions of college attendees and those with no college education in the population remained more stable than the proportion of high school dropouts over this period. Extremely high incarceration rates had emerged among prime-age non- college men by 2010 (see Figure 2-15). Around 4 percent of noncollege white men and a similar proportion of noncollege Hispanic men in this age group were incarcerated in 2010. The education gradient is especially

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66 THE GROWTH OF INCARCERATION significant for African Americans. Among prime-age black men, around 15 percent of those with no college and fully a third of high school dropouts were incarcerated on an average day in 2010. Thus at the height of the prison boom in 2010, the incarceration rate for all African Americans is estimated to be 1,300 per 100,000. For black men under age 40 who had dropped out of high school, the incarceration rate is estimated to be more than 25 times higher, at 35,000 per 100,000. Educational inequalities in incarceration rates have increased since 1972 (see Figure 2-15). Incarceration rates have barely increased among those who have attended college; nearly all the growth in incarceration is concentrated among those with no college education. Some may argue that the rise in incarceration rates is related to increased selectivity, as the non- college group shrank as a fraction of the population. The noncollege group may have been less able to work and more prone to crime in 2010 compared with 1972. Still, any such selection effect may have been somewhat offset by rising educational attainment in the noncollege population. Higher rates of high school graduation increased the schooling of those without college, perhaps negating the criminal propensity of the low-educated population. Although it is difficult to say precisely how much of the rising educational inequality in incarceration is due to shifts in selectivity, the statistics clearly show that prison time has become common for men with little schooling. Educational disparities also shed light on the relatively high level of incarceration among Hispanics. Hispanics are incarcerated at a lower rate than non-Hispanic whites at every level of education. Because Hispanics— and new immigrants in particular—tend to have very low levels of education, there are relatively more Hispanics than whites in the high incarceration group of those with less than a high school education. The statistics discussed above are for incarceration rates at a single point in time. BJS developed estimates of the lifetime probabilities of impris- onment for men and women in different racial and ethnic groups (Bonczar and Beck, 1997; Bonczar, 2003). Those estimates assume a stable underly- ing rate of prison admission for all the birth cohorts in prison at a given time. Pettit and Western (2004; Western, 2006; Western and Wildeman, 2009; Pettit, 2012) developed this work further, estimating cumulative risks of imprisonment for men and women in different birth cohorts and at different levels of education. These estimates show how the experience of imprisonment has become more prevalent for successive cohorts as the incarceration rate has risen. It is instructive to compare the risks of imprisonment by age 30-35 for men in two birth cohorts: the first born in 1945-1949, just before the great increase in incarceration rates, and the second born in the late 1970s, growing up through the period of high incarceration rates (see Figure 2-16). Because most of those who go to prison do so for the first time before

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RISING INCARCERATION RATES 67 White Hispanic Black FIGURE 2-16  Cumulative risks of imprisonment by 1979 for men born in 1945- 1949 and by 2009 for men born in 1975-1979, by race and education. NOTES: C = at least some college; HS = completed high school or general equiva- lency diploma (GED); DO = no Figure 2-16 high school diploma or GED. Bitmapped SOURCE: Data from Western and Wildeman (2009). age 30 to 35, these cumulative proportions can be interpreted roughly as lifetime risks of going to prison. Education, for these cumulative risks, is recorded in three categories: for those who attended at least some college, for high school graduates or GED earners, and for those who did not com- plete high school. Similar to the increases in incarceration rates, cumulative risks of im- prisonment have increased substantially for all men with no college educa- tion and to extraordinary absolute levels for men who did not complete high school. The prison system was not a prominent presence in the lives of white men born just after World War II. Among high school dropouts, only 4 percent had been to prison by their mid-30s. The lifetime risk of imprisonment was about the same for Hispanic high school dropouts at that time. For African American men who dropped out of high school and reached their mid-30s at the end of the 1970s, the lifetime risk of imprison- ment was about 3 times higher, at 15 percent.

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68 THE GROWTH OF INCARCERATION The younger cohort growing up through the prison boom and reaching their mid-30s in 2009 faced a significantly elevated risk of imprisonment. Similar to the rise in incarceration rates, most of the growth in lifetime risk of imprisonment was concentrated among men who had not been to college. Imprisonment risk reached extraordinary levels among high school dropouts. Among recent cohorts of African American men, 70 percent of those who dropped out of school served time in state or federal prison. For these men with very little schooling, serving time in state or federal prison had become a normal life event. Although imprisonment was less pervasive among low-educated whites and Hispanic men, the figures are still strik- ing. Among recent cohorts of male dropouts, 28 percent of whites and 20 percent of Hispanics had a prison record by the peak of the prison boom. In sum, trends in these disaggregated rates of incarceration show that not only did incarceration climb to historically high levels, but also its growth was concentrated among prime-age men with little schooling, par- ticularly low-educated black and Hispanic men. For this segment of the population, acutely disadvantaged to begin with, serving time in prison had become commonplace. CONCLUSION This chapter has painted a broad statistical portrait of the trends in incarceration since 1972, the beginning of the U.S. prison boom. After a lengthy period of stability in incarceration rates, the penal system began a sustained period of growth beginning in 1973 and continuing for the next 40 years. U.S. incarceration rates are historically high, and currently are the highest in the world. Clues to the causes and consequences of these high rates lie in their community and demographic distribution. The character- istics of the penal population—age, schooling, race/ethnicity—indicate a disadvantaged population that not only is involved in crime but also has few economic opportunities and faces significant obstacles to social mobil- ity. Through its secondary contact with families and poor communities, the penal system has effects that extend far beyond those who are incarcerated (as discussed in Chapters 9 and 10). The review of the evidence in this chapter points to four key findings: 1. Current incarceration rates are historically and comparatively un- precedented. The United States has the highest incarceration rates in the world, reaching extraordinary absolute levels in the most recent two decades. 2. The growth in imprisonment—most rapid in the 1980s, then slower in the 1990s and 2000s—is attributable largely to increases in prison admission rates and time served. Increased admission rates

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RISING INCARCERATION RATES 69 are closely associated with increased incarceration for drug crimes and explain much of the growth of incarceration in the 1980s, while increased time served is closely associated with incarcera- tion for violent crimes and explains much of the growth since the 1980s. These trends are, in turn, attributable largely to changes in sentencing policy over the period, as detailed in Chapter 3. Rising rates of incarceration for major offenses are not associated with trends in crime. 3. The growth in incarceration rates in the 1970s and 1980s was associated with high and increasing black-white disparities that subsequently declined in the 1990s and 2000s. Yet despite the de- cline in racial disparity, the black-white ratio of incarceration rates remained very high (greater than 4 to 1) by 2010. 4. Racial and ethnic disparities have combined with sex, age, and edu- cation stratification to produce extremely high rates of incarcera- tion among recent cohorts of young African American men with no college education. Among recent cohorts of black men, about one in five who have never been to college and well over half of all high school dropouts have served time in state or federal prison at some point in their lives. The following chapters explore in greater detail the causes and conse- quences of high rates of incarceration, but these chapters should be read against the backdrop of the following facts thus far established. First, the recent period of high incarceration rates is historically unprecedented and unmatched abroad. Second, incarceration is now pervasive among young men who are both acutely disadvantaged socially and economically and involved in crime. Third, today’s penal system, by virtue of its size and demographic concentration, has a broad social significance, reshaping the institutional landscape of poverty in America. We next begin to explore the causes of the growth in incarceration rates by studying the most proximate changes in criminal processing and sentencing that precipitated and drove 40 years of prison growth.