True cost of drugs: More than half of inmates currently in U.S. federal prisons were convicted of narcotics offences

More than 50 per cent on inmates in U.S. federal prisons were jailed for drug offences, shocking new figures show.

The statistics from the Federal Bureau of Prisons, an agency of the U.S. Department of Justice, reveal that out of a total inmate population of 215,888, 102,391 (that’s 50.8 per cent) were jailed for drug offences.

The second highest crime area was weapons, explosives and arson offences with a prison population of 30,509, that’s 15.1 per cent, according to the figures published on the Department’s website on May 28 of this year.

Murder, aggravated Assault and kidnapping Offenses made up 2.7 per cent with 5,473 inmates.

The drug offences relate to crime in multiple ways. Most directly, it is use, possession, manufacturing and distributing drugs classified as having a potential for abuse, such as cocaine, heroin, morphine and amphetamines.

But the offences also involve crimes such as drug trafficking and drug production controlled by drug cartels, organized crime and gangs.

The concept of drug related crime, however, has frequently been criticized for its failure to distinguish between the types of crime associated with drugs.

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