Fact: Over 4,300 people died in custody of local jails and state prisons in 2012.
Fact: 31% of deaths were attributed to suicide according to Department of Justice Figures.
Fact: Suicide was the leading cause of death.
Source: Mortality in Local Jails and State Prisons, 2000-2012; Bureau of Justice Statistics
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, Al.com
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.
Source: Stop and Seize, the Washington Post
Fact: In the United States, there is no federally set minimum age for criminal responsibility.
Fact: 37 states have also opted not to establish a minimum age of criminal responsibility.
Fact: This is in violation of the UNICEF Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Fact: The United States is one of only two countries in the world to have signed but not ratified the convention, with the other being Somalia.
Source: Incarceration Nation, Foreign Policy Passport
Fact: Most states allow employers to deny jobs to people who were arrested but never convicted of a crime.
Fact: Most states allow employers to deny jobs to anyone with a criminal record, regardless of how long ago or the individual’s work history or personal circumstances.
Fact: Most states ban some or all people with felony drug convictions from being eligible for federally funded public assistance and food stamps.
Fact: Most states make criminal history information accessible to the general public through the Internet.
Fact: Many public housing authorities deny eligibility for federally assisted housing based on arrests (not necessarily convictions).
Fact: All but two states restrict the right to vote in some way for people with criminal convictions.
Source: After Prison: Roadblocks to Rentry, Legal Action Center
Fact: In 2008, the school district of Philadelphia employed 450 full-time law enforcement personnel.
Fact: Several other U.S. public school systems employed over one hundred full-time law enforcement personnel, including Los Angeles, Miami, Houston, Palm Beach, Las Vegas, and Baltimore school districts.
Source: “Census of State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies, 2008,” Bureau of Justice Statistics
Fact: In 2012, state governments spent $2.2 billion on indigent defense services, the lowest total in five years.
Source: Indigent Defense Services report, Bureau of Justice Statistics