Sentenced People In State Prisons In The US Whose Most Serious Offense Was Drug Possession

The US Dept. of Justice's Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that at yearend 2018 there were 1,249,700 sentenced people in state prisons in the US, of whom 176,300 (14.1%) had as their most serious offense a drug charge: 46,500 for drug possession (3.7%) and 129,900 for "other" drug offenses, including manufacturing and sale (10.4%).

More Than 60 Percent of People Held in US Jails Have Not Been Convicted

"Since 2005, more than 60% of all jail inmates were awaiting court action on a current charge. About 4 in 10 inmates were sentenced offenders or convicted offenders awaiting sentencing. The growth in the overall jail inmate population since 2000 was due to the increase in the unconvicted population. Regardless of conviction status, about 68% of jail inmates in 2015 were held for a felony offense, and the remaining 32% were held for either misdemeanor (27%) or other offenses (5%) (not shown)."

Number Of People Sentenced to US Prisons, By Offense

"Offense characteristics of federal prisoners

"•Forty-six percent of prisoners sentenced to federal prison were serving time for a drug offense (more than 99% for drug trafficking) on September 30, 2019, the most recent date for which such data are available (tables 15 and 16).

"• At fiscal year-end 2019, about 59% (6,500) of all females sentenced to federal prison were serving time for drug offenses, compared to 45% (66,700) of all males.