Wednesday, October 9, 2013
New Sentencing Project report shows life sentences have quadrupled since 1984
Today, The Sentencing Project released Life Goes On: The Historic Rise in Life Sentences in America, which documents the increase in life sentences despite the decrease in violent crime. The report's key findings are these:
- As of 2012, there were 159, 520 people serving life sentences, an 11.8% rise since 2008.
- One of every nine individuals in prison is serving a life sentence.
- The population of prisoners serving life without parole (LWOP) has risen more sharply than those with the possibility of parole: there has been a 22.2% increase in LWOP since just 2008, an increase from 40,174 individuals to 49,081.
- Approximately 10,000 lifers have been convicted of nonviolent offenses.
- Nearly half of lifers are African American and 1 in 6 are Latino.
- More than 10,000 life-sentenced inmates have been convicted of crimes that occurred before they turned 18 and nearly 1 in 4 of them were sentenced to LWOP.
- More than 5,300 (3.4%) of the life-sentenced inmates are female.
The full report is here.