Mass Incarceration is Disappearing Among Young Adults


In another one of my “the kids are alright” posts at Washington Post, I focus on the extraordinary drop in imprisonment among the young. Even the large percentage decreases in the chart may not give a sense of how significant the change is: because incarceration rates are highest among young adults, it takes huge moves in the numbers to produce the big percentage drops seen in the chart.

If you believe that the criminal justice system simply is a New Jim Crow whose sole purpose is to lock up people of color consider this: As America is becoming more diverse with each generation, the rate of imprisonment is falling through the floor rather than increasing.

Other implications in my latest Wonkblog.

Author: Keith Humphreys

Keith Humphreys is the Esther Ting Memorial Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford University and an Honorary Professor of Psychiatry at Kings College London. His research, teaching and writing have focused on addictive disorders, self-help organizations (e.g., breast cancer support groups, Alcoholics Anonymous), evaluation research methods, and public policy related to health care, mental illness, veterans, drugs, crime and correctional systems. Professor Humphreys' over 300 scholarly articles, monographs and books have been cited over thirteen thousand times by scientific colleagues. He is a regular contributor to Washington Post and has also written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Monthly, San Francisco Chronicle, The Guardian (UK), The Telegraph (UK), Times Higher Education (UK), Crossbow (UK) and other media outlets.