Will the Real Willie Lynch Please Stand Up

Thought I would share this again.

Dr. Jose Aviles

Will the Real Willie Lynch Please Stand Up

By. Jose Aviles Ed. D.

Why teach Willie Lynch? A document many consider a fake, a hoax or simply a fictional text. Historian Prof. Manu Ampim presents evidence to suggest so on his website, Death of the Willie Lynch Speech. The answer I believe is pretty simple though the content in itself is very complex. Many of the concepts presented in this text are as real and prevalent in today’s society as when they were conceived by its author when written either three hundred years ago or as early as the 20th century.

Let’s take the concept of “Big Brother is Watching.”

Big Brother is a fictional construct created by George Orwell in his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. Big Brother is the mysterious dictator of Oceania a kind of communist totalitarian society. The government and ruling party uses technology to keep their citizens…

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“The End of Fatherhood Means the End of Civilized Society”

“The End of Fatherhood Means the End of Civilized Society”

No other quote on fatherhood has stuck with me quite like this one.
It’s ballsy and over-the-top and it takes for granted how mothers are far more likely to be in their children’s lives. But, there’s a burning truth in it that brought silence to an entire classroom of criminal justice majors.
The course years ago at Penn State Altoona was actually about the history of organized crime. We watched documentaries and read books and discussed how the crime is portrayed in the media. The violence of the crimes often took center stage but one student saw the quiet thread that seemed to weave through most criminals we studied: they came from broken homes. Correction: they came from fatherless homes.

The one student who always sat up front but rarely said anything had something to say after one particular film when the professor asked if there were any questions that could begin our discussion:
“It seems like, maybe I’m wrong here, but it seems like when families break down, when… it seems like the end of fatherhood means the end of civilized society.”
He wrestled with the words and they seemed to wrestle with each other as they came out. But when they came out the rustling of notebooks and the tapping of shoes and pens came to a halt. Most of the students were young men and, it turned out, many of us (including myself) had selected criminal justice as our major in part because we had some daddy issues to deal with. A discussion unraveled, generally, about how breakdown in the family have become the clichéd story of most people serving time in prison. But nothing more was mentioned about fathers specifically. I viewed this generally as well even though I myself was being raised and supported in a single-mother household. The following week’s discussion was about Al Capone and so the quote on fatherhood was left alone.
The quote didn’t resurface in my life until the release of my own memoir. Emails from readers poured in and I still receive a few each week that, wouldn’t you know it, nearly always are from men who could relate to my story because their father wasn’t around either, because they found themselves turning to drugs or martial arts, to crime or literature, or to a host of other seeming dichotomies all in an attempt to fill the void. Within the first few pages of President Barack Obama’s memoir The Audacity of Hope is this quote:
“Someone once said that every man is trying to either live up to his father’s expectations or make up for his father’s mistakes, and I suppose that may explain my particular malady as well as anything else.”
The quote can likely apply to any child-to-parent relationship, but, in the context of America’s mass incarceration problem, which is primarily made up of men, and the statistics and information below that are from this PDF of the 1998 US Department of Justice report titled, “What Can the Federal Government Do To Decrease Crime and Revitalize Communities?” we have much work to do on fatherhood and fatherlessness:
Many of our problems in crime control and community revitalization are strongly related to father absence. For example:
– Sixty-three percent of youth suicides are from fatherless homes.
– Ninety percent of all homeless and runaway youths are from fatherless homes.
– Eighty-five percent of children who exhibit behavioral disorders are from fatherless homes.
– Seventy-one percent of high school dropouts are from fatherless homes.
– Seventy percent of youths in State institutions are from fatherless homes.
– Seventy-five percent of adolescent patients in substance abuse centers are from fatherless homes.
– Eighty-five percent of rapists motivated by displaced anger are from fatherless homes.
Without fathers as social and economic role models, many boys try to establish their manhood through sexually predatory behavior, aggressiveness, or violence. These behaviors interfere with schooling, the development of work experience, and self-discipline. Many poor children who live apart from their fathers are prone to becoming court involved. Once these children become court involved, their records of arrest and conviction often block access to employment and training opportunities. Criminal histories often lock these young persons into the underground or illegal economies.
How to break the cycle? The Good Men Project’s Robert Duffer highlights a few worthy initiatives already underway in his article What They Don’t Know: The Dad Movement Has Never Been Stronger. A movement. Yes. This is exactly what we need.
– See more at: http://goodmenproject.com/social-justice-2/social-justice-the-end-of-fatherhood/#sthash.rRnjVhb4.dpuf

The End of Men and the Rise of Women, Or Are We Facing The End of Us All?

The End of Men and the Rise of Women, Or Are We Facing The End of Us All?

Global Warming

It’s the end of men and the rise of women? Great. Too bad the sinking Titanic that is our industrialized civilization doesn’t care. Men and women must unite to save the home we too often take for granted.

Back in 2010 Hanna Rosin wrote an article in The Atlantic titled “The End of Men.” The article began with these observations:

“Earlier this year, women became the majority of the workforce for the first time in U.S. history. Most managers are now women too. And for every two men who get a college degree this year, three women will do the same. For years, women’s progress has been cast as a struggle for equality. But what if equality isn’t the end point? What if modern, postindustrial society is simply better suited to women?”

The article was followed by a book, published in 2012, The End of Men: And the Rise of Women, which I’ve finally had time to read. The promo for the book notes:

“At this unprecedented moment, women are no longer merely gaining on men; they have pulled decisively ahead by almost every measure. Already ‘the end of men’—the phrase Rosin coined—has entered the lexicon as indelibly as Betty Friedan’s ‘feminine mystique,’ Simone de Beauvoir’s ‘second sex,’ Susan Faludi’s ‘backlash,’ and Naomi Wolf’s ‘beauty myth’ have.”

There certainly are indications that women are doing better than they have, and that men are having a more difficult time. For instance, depression, which has always been more prevalent in women, by a ratio of 2 to 1, is now on the rise in men. And women are moving into jobs formerly dominated by men such as medicine and pharmacy.

But it all feels a bit like moving up to a better deck on the Titanic. There are some pretty strong indicators that the Ship of Industrial Civilization is going under and it won’t be much comfort to women or men if the life-support system on the planet collapses with it.

Here’s how one visionary, Richard Heinberg, put it in his book, Peak Everything: Waking UP to the Century of Declines,

“Once we accept that energy, fresh water, and food will become less freely available over the next few decades, it is hard to escape the conclusion that while the 20th century saw the greatest and most rapid expansion of the scale, scope, and complexity of human societies in history, the 21st will see contraction and simplification. The only real question is whether societies will contract and simplify intelligently or in an uncontrolled, chaotic fashion.”

Another visionary, Rob Watson, CEO and Chief Scientist of the EcoTech International Group, (who Pulitzer-Prize winning author Tom Friedman calls one of the best environmental minds in America), puts it this way,

“People don’t seem to realize it that it is not like we’re on the Titanic and we have to avoid the iceberg. We’ve already hit the iceberg.  The water is rushing in down below.  But some people just don’t want to leave the dance floor; others don’t want to give up on the buffet.  But if we don’t make the hard choices, nature will make them for us.”

It’s time to prepare the lifeboats for launching rather than debating who’s going to run the ship. It’s time to call “all hands on deck” as we face the massive changes going on in the world. Men and women need to unite on this one. Many of us have children and grandchildren we care about and we owe them a better future than the one they’ll face if we stay on our present course.

– See more at: http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/cc-the-end-of-men-and-the-rise-of-women-or-are-we-facing-the-end-of-us-all/#sthash.QcoERJ6u.dpuf

Daddy Where Are You? 3 Things Fatherless Sons Should Know


Daddy Where Are You? 3 Things Fatherless Sons Should Know

Shaun Marq Anderson rose above his own fatherlessness and gives tips on how to help fatherless sons thrive.

Before I dive deep into this article, I would like for you to know that I do understand the necessity for fathers to be in the lives of their daughters as well as their sons. But because I am not familiar with the issues that fatherless daughters face, it would not be a good idea for me to express my thoughts on the matter. I can only speak from a fatherless son perspective.
This issue of fatherless son households is a very sensitive subject to me. I am one of many young boys who grew up without a father, yet alone a father figure. This plague has been an issue in the black community for far too long. Many of our young brothers fall victim to the streets because of absentee fathers. I am one of the few young men who were able to rise out of the circumstances.

I am here to encourage other fatherless sons about the infinite possibilities of success in which they can achieve. These fatherless sons do not have to struggle with the low self-esteem, anger-management issues, isolation, fear, doubt, insecurities, and other negative emotions that I had to fight through alone. We as leaders have an obligation to pay it forward. We must stand in the gap to ensure today’s youth are mentored, guided, and protected.
Even though I had my struggles as a youth, I was able to rise out of poverty, homelessness, abandonment issues, and relationship struggles in order to be the first person in my family to pursue a Ph.D.! So if I can rise out of the pit of despair and defeat, then so can today’s generation of fatherless youth. Therefore, I have decided to give a list of four things our youth need to know. They need to know that:

First and foremost our youth matter. Dr. Steve Perry’s groundbreaking television series,Save Our Sons, drove the nail into the wood in regards to the necessity for letting our youth know that they matter. Many of the youth on this program lashed out in anger only because they were missing the loving affection of a father. Many of the youth showed improvement, but some of the young men were too far gone into hopelessness to be helped. No one ever said that reaching out to our fatherless sons would be easy. But like Dr. Perry, we have to make an attempt

They do not have to settle for less. Subpar living conditions, gang-infested neighborhoods, and apathetic secondary schools are considered normative routines for many fatherless sons. They grow up with a “settle for less” attitude that gives them no hope for a successful future. The stereotypical story of fatherless sons entails them falling into prison, drug use, or death. But we must do everything in our power to remind our fatherless sons of the kings and queens from which the descend. We must find ways to eradicate this notion of apathy among our youth. There is always time in your busy schedule to be able to spend five minutes of your time reminding our youth that they have been purposed for greatness!

It was not their fault that he left. Quite often, fatherless sons live a life long struggle of holding onto blame. They feel as if they are the reason as to why their father left. With this notion, they fall into deep depression, low self-esteem, and other negative ramifications. It is not right or justified for our youth to hold onto that much guilt. We must work daily to show our youth that it is not their fault. Also, we must stop making our children feel guilty for their father leaving. If the man was a true father, he would not have left his left his child. True, many relationships don’t last forever, but if a child was conceived during the relationship, it is both parents’ responsibility to care for their child.
Hopefully, these pointers have helped you see the necessity in saving our generation of youth who are missing a father figure. Spend time with our youth! Become a mentor! Take them to a movie! Give them a reason for being! You have more power to affect change more than you think! Let’s go! We can do it! Let’s save our youth one step at a time!

Originally appeared on Black Life Coaches Development Network by Author Shaun Marq Anderson
Photo: WoodleyWonderWorks/Flickr
– See more at: http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/daddy-where-are-you-3-things-fatherless-sons-should-know-wrd/#sthash.UQklRQb2.dpuf

It’s Time to Worry: Boys Are Rapidly Falling Behind Girls in School

It’s Time to Worry: Boys Are Rapidly Falling Behind Girls in School
Reporter Peg Tyre explains why the challenges boys face in school need to be taken much more seriously.

Are teachers in America devaluing the ways boys learn? (Photothek via Getty Images)                   February 14, 2013 By Peg Tyre

For nearly a decade now, the evidence has been accumulating: Boys, in general, are doing less well in school than girls. And slowly, parents, teachers and school administrators are waking up to the fact that they are going to need to do something about it.

But what exactly is going on with boys? A new study conducted by two economists from the University of Georgia casts some light on the subject. The researchers analyzed a massive amount of data that was collected by the federal government on 10,000 students as they moved from kindergarten to eighth grade.

When the researchers broke down the data by gender, they found that in many cases, classroom grades (subjective measurements awarded by teachers) were not well aligned to test scores. Troublingly, they found that boys, who scored well on tests (indicating mastery of the material being taught) did not get grades from teachers that reflected their abilities in three central subjects: reading, math, and science.

In other words, teachers favored girls.

The researchers then looked at the teachers’ assessment of students’ behavior, which was collected on this group of kids as they moved through school. The researchers found that teachers depressed the grades of boys who they thought didn’t show an “aptitude for learning.” They depressed the grades of boys, not because they didn’t learn the material, but because they didn’t do school well—comport themselves in class more like, well, girls. When the teachers perceived that boys exhibited an “aptitude toward learning,” they graded them on par and sometimes slightly better than their female counterparts.

The challenges boys face in school is a serious issue, but it has been slow to gain traction in education circles. For decades, any discussion about gender and education largely revolved around the troubles girls faced. A dozen or so years ago, a discussion about boys and their troubles at schools would be squashed by a quick quip about the gender balance of, say, Congress and corporate boardrooms.

Right now, boys are falling out of the kindergarten through 12th grade educational pipeline in ways that we can hardly imagine.

But the evidence that boys are struggling in school has deepened and become more worrisome. Right now boys are falling out of the kindergarten through 12th grade educational pipeline in ways that we can hardly imagine. They are expelled from preschool at five times the rates of girls. They are more likely than girls to be left back, identified as having ADHD and behavior problems. In middle school, they get more Cs and Ds. In high school, with the exception of sports, their involvement in extracurricular activities has declined. Boys are more like to drop out than girls.

It’s no wonder that almost more girls than boys attend college. When you look at government census date from 2010, among full-time college goers— 6.4 million of them are female and 5.1 million of them are male.

To be sure, the problems that beset boys in general do not challenge all boys—in every demographic there is a thin margin of high-performing boys (see above, Congress and corporate board rooms). But in general, while girls have all but caught up in math and science classes, boys in every demographic lag behind girls in reading and writing. Low-income boys and boys of color lag behind girls by almost every measure.

The 9 Most Shocking Facts About High School Dropout Rates

Boys often complain that they are treated differently than girls, particularly in elementary and middle school. This study confirms they are right. Some boys complain they are judged more harshly. Now we have evidence to support this as well. And grades matter. While a middle class boy who is getting so-so grades is supported by his educated parents to see himself as a “late-bloomer,” boys from less affluent families don’t have this luxury. They accept the teacher’s judgement on their abilities. Those boys—even ones who are mastering the material being taught—stop seeing themselves as college material.

Some schools have already taken steps to close the so-called “behavior” differential between boys and girls—the ways in which teachers (who are largely female in the elementary and middle school years) can misunderstand and devalue the ways boys learn—and how they express themselves while they are doing it.

In an article in The New York Times, I wrote about schools that were striving to end this kind of “grading for compliance”—or grading boys like defective girls—by giving all children two grades, one for handing in homework, appearing ready to learn and raising your hand, and the other for mastering the material.

The superintendent of schools in Potsdam, New York, Patrick Brady, who has been rolling out a revamped grading system in his 1,450-student district, said the new grading system would allow teachers to recognize academic strengths where they often are not discovered—among minority students, or students from poorer families, or boys—subgroups whose members may be unable or unwilling to fit in easily to the culture of school.

“We are getting rid of grade fog,” Mr. Brady said. “We need to stop overlooking kids who can do the work and falsely inflate grades of kids who can’t but who look good. We think this will be good for everyone.”

This innovative way of looking at grades won’t solve all the problems facing boys—the causes are complex—but as this new research shows, its wider adoption would be a step in the right direction.


The end of men? Expert predicts males will be extinct in five million years… and the process has already started!

The end of men? Expert predicts males will be extinct in five million years… and the process has already started!

Leading Australian expert says ‘inherent fragility’ of the male sex chromosome will lead to male demise
Says the research is ‘very bad news’ for all men
PUBLISHED: 09:23 EST, 2 April 2013 | UPDATED: 01:32 EST, 3 April 2013

Men are living on borrowed time, according to a leading female scientist.
Professor Jenny Graves even claims the male of the species is heading for extinction.
And chaps, the bad news doesn’t end there, because the process may have already started.
Battle of the sexes: A leading Australian expert says ‘inherent fragility’ of the male sex chromosome will lead to male demise
Battle of the sexes: A leading Australian expert says ‘inherent fragility’ of the male sex chromosome will lead to male demise

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2302865/Is-end-men-Expert-predicts-males-extinct–says-process-started.html#ixzz3Kt1RvJTp
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Professor Graves, one of Australia’s most influential scientists, believes that women will win the battle of the sexes – and in the most definitive way possible.

She says that the inherent fragility of the male sex chromosome, the Y sex chromosome, means that men are sliding towards extinction.
Professor Graves’s prediction hinges around the number of genes on the male and female sex chromosomes.
The female, or X, chromosome, contains a healthy 1,000 or so genes.
What’s more, girls and women have two of them.
The Y chromosome started off with as many genes as its female counterpart.
But over hundreds of millions of years it has crumbled away, leaving fewer than 100 genes in modern man.
This includes the SRY gene, the ‘male master switch’ that determines whether an embryo is male or female.
What is more, while women have two X chromosomes, men have just one, ‘wimpy’, Y.
This is key, as the pairing allows the X to make crucial repairs.
Lacking a mate, the Y chromosome finds it more difficult to patch up mistakes and so decays away.
Professor Graves, of Canberra University, said: ‘The X chromosome is all alone in the male but in the female it has a friend, so it can swop bits and repair itself.
‘If the Y gets hit, it’s a downward spiral.’
Giving a public lecture, the professor said: ‘It is very bad news for all the men here.’
And there is more bad news.
In her talk at the Australian Academy of Science, the professor described the remaining genes on the Y chromosome as being mostly ‘junk’.
She said: ‘It’s a lovely example of what I call dumb design.
‘It’s an evolutionary accident.’
However, there is some good news.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2302865/Is-end-men-Expert-predicts-males-extinct–says-process-started.html#ixzz3Kt18MmBP
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Are You ‘Man Enough’ to Love Your Brother?



My mother bought my brother and I a basketball rim. It was 2001, and we just moved to a new neighborhood, so she wanted to give us a way to meet new friends through the game we loved. One day me and a couple friends from my grade school were shooting hoops, and a group of other guys walked up to ask if they could play along. That was the day I met Eddie Lucas. Over the course of 4 years and countless pickup games from sunrise until the streetlights clicked off, Eddie became one of my best friends.

Eddie was the most charismatic dude I ever known. He could make everyone in the room laugh. If he ever got in trouble in school, the charm of his mischievous teeth-filled smile would get him out of it. Hair slicked back into a well-oiled ponytail, he was loved by all the girls at school. They would offer to do his hair as a way to get close to him. And if you and Eddie liked the same girl, you might as well quit, bruh.
During our first week of high school, we both spotted this girl named Rashida. We both turned to looked at each other with the “Damn!” look on our face–she was so beautiful. I went to homeroom and when I came back outside, Eddie was already chatting her up. He had a magnetic personality that I always admired. By our sophomore year, everyone in the school knew Eddie, either personally or by his catchphrases “Don’t watch me, watch TV,” “Don’t do me, do yo’ hair,” or the crowd favorite “On yo birthday!”

On the court, Eddie was what we in Chicago call a “hooper”; he combined the basketball IQ and skill of a gym rat with the creativity and tenacity of a street-baller. He wasn’t the fastest, but could always get out of sticky situations with his sly dribbling. Early in our sophomore season, the team had lost a couple of games and our coach asked if we should change the captains (Eddie was one of them.) I was mad at Eddie at the time (for some petty, teenage reason I can’t even remember now), so I made the case that we should change captains, mentioning Eddie specifically.
On our walk home, Eddie asked me why I was mad with this cheesy smile on his face. I don’t even think I could get out an answer before he started making me laugh, and saying “Give me a hug, g.” I told him no, keeping him away to act like I was still mad even though he had already cheered me up. We got to my house, and played some ball. This is how beefs with Eddie often ended.
Later that night, my friend Wynton and I were making a store run when my coach called to say that Eddie was in the hospital. He had been ran over by a car as he was walking home from my house.
It felt like the world dropped on my back, and I immediately hunched over and started crying. My friend Wynton was in a shock, but seemed more hopeful than I was. I immediately knew that he was dead. When we got to the hospital, friends and family were bombarding the doctor with questions about his condition and “Will he be ok?” inquiries. It took the young doctor a while to stomach his duty to finally bear the news.

Eddie Lucas was mowed over by a drunk police officer on September 22, 2005, hours before my sixteenth birthday.

His death sent shock throughout the school, and caused our once-close circle to drift apart from each other. Everyone grieves in the only way they know how, and for young men, that masculine ego often makes you feel like you need to suffer alone.
Our coach also left after the season to go coach at another school. For a while, I harbored so much anger at him. It felt like a father abandoning his kids. How could he just leave? After all the team had been through? The pain of losing a close friend, coupled with the immaturity of youth, I felt no empathy, only betrayal. The hurt made me overlook that fact that he probably left to cope with the death of a player, a kid he was entrusted with to help become a man. Looking back, the collapse of our relationship is something I truly regret.
It took me months not to cry when thinking about Eddie too deeply, and years to not think about him every day. But that one memory of Eddie asking me for a hug replays in mind every time I do. Maybe he was just messing around to cheer me up, and maybe I didn’t embrace him, because I was mad or because two men aren’t suppose to resolve conflicts that way. But not giving that hug before he died is my biggest regret of my young life. It was like God gave me a chance to say good bye, lobbed me a perfect alley-oop like Eddie once did in neighborhood pick-up games. And I missed it. And I still miss him.

Eddie’s death sparked in me a deeper yearning for strong bonds with other men. Growing up on the South Side of Chicago, gangs were my only reference to brotherhood. Luckily, I never officially joined, but I often associated with one. That need for a male support group is undoubtedly one of the reasons I joined Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated. in college.
Four years after his passing, I had this crazy dream that I as playing 3-on-3 in my driveway with Eddie and our friends Wynton and Demetrius, plus Antawn Jamison on one team, and Luol Deng on the other. Everyone disappeared except Eddie and I. I gave him a hug, and told him I loved him. As I opened my mouth to apologize, he consoled me with “It’s okay.” I woke up with tears soaked in my pillow, sad that I would never see him again, but filled with the peace of closure.
Kanye taught me that people never get the flowers when they can still smell them. Society taught me that telling another man you love him is “unmanly” or “Nigga, you gay!” Life taught me that being unafraid to show love is one of the true measures of a man.
To Coach Lamont Nelson, I’m sorry. To all my male friends, old and new, “The Guys,” my frat brothers, my nephews…the Black men on the streets of Chicago, or protesting down in Ferguson, I just want you to know that I love you, and I will never hesitate to say that again.
Read more at EBONY http://www.ebony.com/news-views/are-you-man-enough-to-love-your-brother-403#ixzz3IuXusTOc
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Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie

Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie

A Prison Policy Initiative briefing

By Peter Wagner and Leah Sakala March 12, 2014

Wait, does the United States have 1.4 million or more than 2 million people in prison? And do the 688,000 people released every year include those getting out of local jails? Frustrating questions like these abound because our systems of federal, state, local, and other types of confinement — and the data collectors that keep track of them — are so fragmented. There is a lot of interesting and valuable research out there, but definitional issues and incompatibilities make it hard to get the big picture for both people new to criminal justice and for experienced policy wonks.

On the other hand, piecing together the available information offers some clarity. This briefing presents the first graphic we’re aware of that aggregates the disparate systems of confinement in this country, which hold more than 2.4 million people in 1,719 state prisons, 102 federal prisons, 2,259 juvenile correctional facilities, 3,283 local jails, and 79 Indian Country jails as well as in military prisons, immigration detention facilities, civil commitment centers, and prisons in the U.S. territories.

pie chart showing the number of people locked up on a given day in the United States by facility type and, where available, the underlying offense

Jail churn is particularly high because at any given moment most of the 722,000 people in local jails have not been convicted….
While the numbers in each slice of this pie chart represent a snapshot cross section of our correctional system, the enormous churn in and out of our confinement facilities underscores how naive it is to conceive of prisons as separate from the rest of our society. In addition to the 688,000 people released from prisons each year, almost 12 million people cycle through local jails each year. Jail churn is particularly high because at any given moment most of the 722,000 people in local jails have not been convicted and are in jail because they are either too poor to make bail and are being held before trial, or because they’ve just been arrested and will make bail in the next few hours or days. The remainder of the people in jail — almost 300,000 — are serving time for minor offenses, generally misdemeanors with sentences under a year.

So now that we have a sense of the bigger picture, a natural follow-up question might be something like: how many people are locked up in any kind of facility for a drug offense? While the data don’t give us a complete answer, we do know that it’s 237,000 people in state prison, 95,000 in federal prison, and 5,000 in juvenile facilities, plus some unknowable portion of the population confined in military prisons, territorial prisons and local jails.

There are almost 15,000 children behind bars whose “most serious offense” wasn’t a crime.
Offense figures for categories such as “drugs” carry an important caveat here, however: all cases are reported only under the most serious offense. For example, a person who is serving prison time for both murder and a drug offense would be reported only in the murder portion of the chart. This methodology exposes some disturbing facts, particularly about our juvenile justice system. For example, there are almost 15,000 children behind bars whose “most serious offense” wasn’t anything that most people would consider a crime: almost 12,000 children are behind bars for “technical violations” of the requirements of their probation or parole, rather than for a new specific offense. More than 3,000 children are behind bars for “status” offenses, which are, as the U.S. Department of Justice explains: “behaviors that are not law violations for adults, such as running away, truancy, and incorrigibility.”

Turning finally to the people who are locked up because of immigration-related issues, more than 22,000 are in federal prison for criminal convictions of violating federal immigration laws. A separate 34,000 are technically not in the criminal justice system but rather are detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), undergoing the process of deportation, and are physically confined in special immigration detention facilities or in one of hundreds of individual jails that contract with ICE. (Notably, those two categories do not include the people represented in other pie slices who are in some early stage of the deportation process because of their non-immigration-related criminal convictions.)

This whole-pie approach can give Americans, who seem increasingly ready for a fresh look at the criminal justice system, some of the tools they need to demand meaningful changes.
Now that we can, for the first time, see the big picture of how many people are locked up in the United States in the various types of facilities, we can see that something needs to change. Looking at the big picture requires us to ask if it really makes sense to lock up 2.4 million people on any given day, giving us the dubious distinction of having the highest incarceration rate in the world. Both policy makers and the public have the responsibility to carefully consider each individual slice in turn to ask whether legitimate social goals are served by putting each category behind bars, and whether any benefit really outweighs the social and fiscal costs. We’re optimistic that this whole-pie approach can give Americans, who seem increasingly ready for a fresh look at the criminal justice system, some of the tools they need to demand meaningful changes to how we do justice.

Notes on the data

This briefing draws the most recent data available as of March 13, 2014 from:

Jails: Bureau of Justice Statistics, Jail Inmates at Midyear 2012 – Statistical Tables page 1 and table 3, reporting data for June 30, 2012.
Immigration detention: Congress Mandates Jail Beds for 34,000 Immigrants as Private Prisons Profit, Bloomberg News, Sept 24, 2013.
Federal: Bureau of Justice Statistics, Prisoners in 2011, page 1 and table 11 from data as of December 31, 2011.
State Prisons: Bureau of Justice Statistics, Prisoners in 2011, Table 9, reporting data for December 31, 2010.
Military: Correctional Populations in the United States, 2012 Appendix Table 2, reporting data for 2012.
Territorial Prisons, Prisons in U.S. Territories (American Samoa, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands) and U.S. Commonwealths (Northern Mariana Islands and Puerto Rico): Correctional Populations in the United States, 2012 Appendix Table 2, reporting data for 2012 includes both prisons and jails.
Juveniles: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement, 2010, reporting data for February 24, 2010.
Civil Commitment: Deidre D’Orazio, Ph.D., Sex Offender Civil Commitment Programs Network Annual Survey of Sex Offender Civil Commitment Programs, 2013.
Indian Country (correctional facilities operated by tribal authorities or the Bureau of Indian Affairs): Bureau of Justice Statistics Correctional Populations in the United States, 2012 Appendix Table 2, reporting data for June 29, 2012.
Several data definitions and clarifications may be helpful to researchers reusing this data in new ways:

The state prison offense category of “public order” includes weapons, drunk driving, court offenses, commercialized vice, morals and decency offenses, liquor law violations, and other public-order offenses.
The state prison “other” category includes offenses labeled “other/unspecified” (7,900), manslaughter (21,500), rape (70,200), “other sexual assault” (90,600), “other violent” (43,400), larceny (45,900), motor vehicle theft (15,000), fraud (30,800) and “other property” (27,700).
The federal prison “other” category includes people who have not been convicted or are serving sentence of under 1 year (19,312), homicide (2,800), robbery (8,100), “other violent” (4,000), burglary (400), fraud (7,700), “other property” (2,500), “other public order offenses” (17,100) and a remaining 7,850 records that could not be put into specific offense types because the “2011 data included individuals commiting drug and public-order crimes that could not be separated from valid unspecified records.”
The juvenile prison “other” category includes criminal homicide (924), sexual assault (4,638), simple assault (5,445), “other person” (1,910), theft (3,759), auto theft (2,469), arson (533) “other property” (3,029), weapons (3,013) and “other public order” (5,126).
To minimize the risk of anyone in immigration detention being counted twice, we removed the 22,870 people — cited in Table 8 of Jail Inmates at Midyear 2012 — confined in local jails under contract with ICE from the total jail population and from the numbers we calculated for those in local jails that have not been convicted. (Table 3 reports the percentage of the jail population that is convicted (60.6%) and unconvicted (39.4%), with the latter category also including the immigration detainees held in local jails.)
At least 17 states and the federal government operate facilities for the purposes of detaining people convicted of sexual crimes after their sentences are complete. These facilities and the confinement there are technically civil, but in reality are quite like prisons. They are often run by state prison systems, are often located on prison grounds, and most importantly, the people confined there are not allowed to leave.

Thanks especially to Drew Kukorowski for collecting the original data for this project and to Alex Friedmann for both identifying ways to update the data, and for locating the civil commitment data. We thank Tracy Velázquez and Josh Begley for their insights on how to use color to tell this story. Thanks to Holly Cooper, Cody Mason, and Judy Greene for helping to untangle the immigration-related statistics. Thanks also to Arielle Sharma and Sarah Hertel-Fernandez for their copy editing assistance.


The number of state and federal facilities is from Census of State and Federal Correctional Facilities, 2005, the number of juvenile facilities from Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement, 2010, the number of jails from Census of Jail Facilities, 2006 and the number of Indian Country jails from Jails in Indian Country, 2012. We aren’t currently aware of a good source of data on the number of the facilities of the other types. ↩
U.S. Department of Justice, Prisoners in 2011, page 1, reporting that 688,384 people were released from state and federal prisons in 2011. ↩
See page 3 of Bureau of Justice Statistics, Jail Inmates at Midyear 2012 – Statistical Tables for this shocking figure of 11.6 million. ↩
See Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement, 2010 page 3. ↩
Of all of the confinement systems discussed in this report, the immigration system is the most fragmented and the hardest to get comprehensive data on. We used Congress Mandates Jail Beds for 34,000 Immigrants as Private Prisons Profit, Bloomberg News, Sept 24, 2013. Other helpful resources include Privately Operated Federal Prisons for Immigrants: Expensive. Unsafe. Unnecessary, Dollars and Detainees The Growth of For-Profit Detention and The Math of Immigration Detention. ↩
It is important to remember that the correctional system pie is far larger than just prisons and includes another 3,981,090 adults on probation, and 851,662 adults on parole. See Appendix tables 2 and 4 in Bureau of Justice Statistics, Probation and Parole in the United States, 2012. ↩