- The United States has 5% of the world's total population, yet has 25% of the world's total prison population. Although I knew we Americans were incarceration-happy, I didn't realize to what degree.
- In 1980 we had 41,000 drug offenders in prison. Today that number is over 500,000, an increase of 1200%. A significant percentage of these people are in prison for possession or other non-violent offenses.
- African-Americans are about 12% of our population. Contrary to a lot of thought and rhetoric, their drug use rate in terms of frequent drug use is about the same as all other elements of our society - about 14%. Yet they end up being 37% of those arrested on drug charges, 59% of those convicted, and 74% of those sentenced to prison.
I salute you, Sen. Webb, and your balls of steel.