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Will Godfrey Will Godfrey

Graphic: Drug Incarceration Rates Are Still a National Disgrace

3 Substance

In 1970, 16% of the people in US federal prison were incarcerated because of drug offenses. Today, that figure stands at just over 50%. This chart and table show just how much this category of nonviolent offenses dominates:

US Federal Prison Population (as of January 25, 2014)

US prison population

Key below. Graphic via

















As The Huffington Post‘s Kathleen Miles writes:

America’s “war on drugs” has aimed to eradicate drug abuse through strict laws and harsh enforcement within and beyond U.S. borders. The policies date back a century, though the term was only coined in 1971. And for years now, that war on drugs has been considered a failure. Illegal drugs have become cheaper and more concentrated, which suggests the world supply is actually increasing.

And the most common drug to be locked up in US federal prisons for is still—of all things, and despite the legalization headlines—marijuana:







Even if the human rights aspects of all this don’t offend you, what about the colossal expense borne by the taxpayer?