Youth in Prison

Fact: As of 2012, over 2,500 juveniles are serving life without parole in the United States.

Fact: The United States is the only country in the world that allows children to get life in prison.

Fact: America incarcerates juveniles at five times the rate of the next closest country (South Africa) and 100 times the rate of comparable countries.

Fact: Only 26% of incarcerated youth committed a violent crime.

Sources: ACLU, End Juvenile Life Without Parole; AECF, No Place for Kids


Historically Exceptional Arrest Rates

Fact: Today, there are more people behind bars for nonviolent drug offenses than were incarcerated for all crimes, violent or otherwise, in 1970.

Fact: America now imprisons people at a rate of five times its own historical average. To return to the nation’s incarceration rates of 1970, America would have to release 4 out of every 5 currently held prisoners.

Sources: Bruce Western, Punishment and Inequality;

Inmate, Pig Welfare

Fact: Two thirds of the state prisons in Texas lack air conditioning.

Fact: Temperatures inside cells are often as high as 130 degrees Fahrenheit.

Fact: At least eight former inmates have died in Texas cells due to heat stroke.

Fact: In June 2013, the state of Texas spent $750,000 to buy exhaust fans and misters to cool pigs raised for inmate consumption.

Source: Wall Street Journal, Extreme Heat Tests Prisons


Fact: Globally, less than 1 out of 9 countries have bans on voting post-release from jail. In the U.S., every state does, except for Vermont and Maine.

Source: “Felon voting rights have a bigger impact on U.S. elections than voter ID laws

Fact: In at least three states (Florida, Virginia, Kentucky), more than one fifth of the adult black population is ineligible to vote because of criminal convictions. Across the nation, 1 out of 13 blacks are ineligible to vote.

Source: Sentencing Project, State Level Estimates of Felon Disenfranchisement in the U.S.

Fact: In Florida, 10% of the population is ineligible to vote because of a ban on felons at the polls.

Source: New York Times, on Eric Holder

Arrested by age 23

Fact: A recent University of Albany study estimates that two of every five adult males in the United States were arrested by the age of 23.

More than half of all arrests occurred while the subject was under the age of 18.

Arrests rates in the U.S. for adults 23 and under:


  • Black men 48%

  • Hispanic men 44%

  • White men 38%


  • Black women 20%

  • Hispanic women: 16%

  • White women: 18%

Source: University of Albany study, as covered by ABC News