The Facts on Drugs and Crime in America

Prison Population

  • 1 in 100 citizens are now confined in jail or prison.
  • The U.S. incarcerates more people per capita than 26 of the largest European nations combined.
  • Incarceration rates in the U.S. are 9X greater for young African-American men between the ages of 30 and 34 years.


  • 80% of offenders abuse drugs or alcohol.
  • Nearly 50% of jail and prison inmates are clinically addicted.
  • Approximately 60% of individuals arrested for most types of crimes test positive for illicit drugs at arrest.

Imprisonment has Little Effect on Drug Abuse

  • 60 to 80% of drug abusers commit a new crime (typically a drug-driven crime) after release from prison.
  • Approximately 95% return to drug abuse after release from prison.