Nearly half of US adults have seen family go to jail
Nearly one in two American adults has seen an immediate family go to jail or prison at least one night, according to a new study from Cornell University.
One in seven adults has had an immediate family member behind bars for at least a year; for one in 34 adults it’s a decade or longer.
The study estimates that 6.5 million adults, 1 in 38, currently have an immediate family member incarcerated.
Among black and Native American adults the numbers are higher: 63 percent have had a family member in jail or prison for a night or more, compared to 48 percent of Latino and 42 percent of white adults. Three times as many black adults as white adults have seen a close relative imprisoned for a year or more — 31 percent compared to 10 percent.
Low-income Americans are also more likely to see their relatives jailed: more than half of adults making $25,000 a year or less have, compared to a third of those making $100,000 a year or more. Looking just at people with relatives locked up for a year or more, it’s about a quarter of the lowest income and 8 percent of the highestincome Americans.
People living in the Northeast are least likely to see an immediate relative go to jail or prison, according to the study — fewer than a third have.
FWD.us is a nonprofit launched in 2013 by Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg to advocate for looser immigration laws. The tech industry lobbying group has since broadened its goals to include criminal justice reform.
“This research corroborates what too many families have known for too long: Our current criminal justice system is harming our economy, communities and families and undermining the promise of what America can and should be,” said Todd Schulte, the president of FWD.us.