Eight percent of the US population are convicted felons.
New research led by a University of Georgia sociologist on the growth in the scope and scale of felony convictions finds that, as of 2010, 3 percent of the total U.S. population and 15 percent of the African-American male population have served time in prison. People with felony convictions more broadly account for 8 percent of the overall population and 33 percent of the African-American male population.
The study includes the first estimates of the felony conviction population and maps their distribution in the states, documenting the dramatic growth since 1980.
“There’s been a great deal of scholarly and policy attention toward incarceration, and rightfully so, as it has very distinct consequences for people that have that experience, as well as their communities and families,” said Sarah Shannon, assistant professor of sociology in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences and first author on the study.
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