Three Years Without a Trial for a 16 Year Old

Fact: Kalief Browder spent more than 1000 days in jail on Rikers Island without a trial. He was first jailed when he was 16 years old.

Fact: In 2011, 74% of felony cases in the Bronx were older than six months.

Fact: At the beginning of 2013, there were 952 felony cases in the Bronx that were more than two years old.

Fact: In 2011, 165 felony cases in the Bronx went to trial. In 3,991, the defendant pleaded guilty.

Fact: in 2013, 27% of adolescent inmates on Rikers Island are in solitary confinement.

Source: Before The Law, The New Yorker


Poverty Rate Lower if not for Mass Incarceration

Fact: Researchers from Villanova estimate that the poverty rate would be 20% lower today if not for the mass incarceration policies of the last few decades.

Fact: Absent the mass incarceration policies, an estimated five million fewer people would have fallen below the poverty line.

SourcePrison and the Poverty Trap, New York Times

Police Shoot and Kill Hundreds Every Year

Fact: Recent estimates of police shootings estimate over 1000 citizens killed annually.

Fact: The last time the FBI released statistics on police killings was in 2009. The count was approximately 400. The release of statistics has since stopped due to reliability issues.

Fact: There is no national tracking system for this data, and there is no national data available on non-lethal shootings by police officers.

Fact: According to the FBI, 44 police officers were lethally shot in 2012, with an additional four more killed in the line of duty.

Source: How many police shootings a year? No one knows, Washington Post

Alabama Prisons Face Chronic Issues

Fact: Alabama’s prisons have grown 840% since 1977. The state population has grown 23%.

Fact: In 1995, Alabama briefly re-introduced the chain gang for the first time in America in 30 years, before dropping the practice amid criticism and court challenges.

Fact: In 2002, the U.S. Justice Department ordered Alabama to stop chaining inmates to hitching posts, a widespread practice.

Fact: Alabama spends 1 of every 4 dollars in the state’s General Fund on prisons.

Source: Alabama’s Prison Problems,

United States of America (plaintiff) vs. $25,180.00 in United States Currency (defendant)

Fact: The above title was an actual court case last year.

Fact: There have been almost 62,000 cash seizures without search warrants or indictments since 2001, totaling $2.5 billion in revenues for federal, state, and local authorities.

Fact: In many cases, the owner is not even charged with a crime.

Fact: Half of all seizures were below $8,800.

Fact: Almost 300 departments and an additional 210 task forces have seized 20% or more of their annual budgets since 2008.

SourceStop and Seize, the Washington Post

Hundreds of Police Departments Have Large Race Gap in Police Department Staffing

Fact: Hundreds of police departments across the U.S. have police forces where the percentage of white officers is more than 30% percentage points higher than the racial makeup of the local community. 

Fact: Many major cities’ police forces have at least one department where the percentage of white officers is more than 40% greater than the community they serve. 

Source: The Race Gap in America’s Police Departments, New York Times