More Prisoners (The Non-Secret Kind) Than Ever

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A report released today by the Department of Justice shows that the U.S. correctional population (those in jail, prison, probation or on parole) now constitutes fully 3 percent of the U.S. adult population. That’s 7 million people, which works out to be one in every 32 Americans.

The report’s findings offer a bleak assessment of state and federal prison systems. Federal prisons are running 34 percent over capacity while several states including South Dakota, Kentucky and Montana saw their inmate populations increase by 10 percent or more.

For women and African Americans the findings are even worse. The number of women in federal and state prisons rose by 2.6 percent (compared to 1.9 percent for men) and 8.1 percent of black men between the ages of 25-29 are now in prison.

—Amaya Rivera

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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