Incarceration (Criminal Record)
Nearly one third of American adults have been arrested by age 23. Criminal records run the gamut — from one-time arrests where charges are dropped to lengthy, serious and violent criminal histories. Most arrests are for relatively minor or nonviolent offenses. Among the nearly 14 million arrests recorded in 2009, only 4 percent were considered among the most serious violent crimes (which include murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault).
This record will keep many people from obtaining employment, even if they have paid their dues, are qualified for the job and are unlikely to reoffend. At the same time, it is the chance at a job that offers hope for people involved in the criminal justice system, as we know from research that stable employment is an important predictor of successful re-entry and desistance from crime.
Did you know?
- About 2 million times each year, people with serious mental illness are booked into jails.
- About 2 in 5 people who are incarcerated have a history of mental illness (37% in state and federal prisons and 44% held in local jails).
- Nearly one in four people shot and killed by police officers between 2015 and 2020 had a mental health condition.
- 70% of youth in the juvenile justice system have a diagnosable mental health condition.
- About 3 in 5 people (63%) with a history of mental illness do not receive mental health treatment while incarcerated in state and federal prisons.