WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The United States has the largest prison population in the world. Slightly under seven million people were under some form of correction supervision in 2013, according to the US Bureau of Justice Statistics. Nearly 40 percent of inmates are African American.
“Too many children are growing up with a parent behind bars,” Yates stated at a bipartisan summit on fair justice. “One in nine African-American children has a parent in prison.”
The US federal prison population has grown by 800 percent since 1980, according to the release.
“This cuts deeply into our society and we must not pass this legacy to the next generation.”
Yates pointed out that US detention centers account for about one-third of the Justice Department’s budget.
The funds could alternatively be used “for state and local law enforcement, victims and prevention and reentry programs.”
Yates also stated the US justice system must begin differentiating between persons who pose a threat to society and should be imprison, versus those who could be dealt with in alternative ways in order to better protect the community.