According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 6.94 million people were supervised by U.S. adult correctional systems in 2012 alone. That's one in 35--or 2.9 percent--of adults in the country. Hispanic males were almost three times, and Black males were six times, more likely to be imprisoned than whites. Even Idaho had a light shone on it: The Gem State was one of four states singled out for having the largest increases in probationers.
Though the numbers of incarcerated have been declining, America still accounts for 25 percent of the world's prison population, yet prisons occupy a disproportionately small part in the national discourse. Contributing to awareness of the issue has been the Netflix original series, Orange is the New Black, which chronicles the trials and tribulations of living in a women's prison.
Laverne Cox, who plays Sophia Burset in the show and serves as an advocate of transgender justice, will be a keynote speaker at the ACLU fundraiser Justice is the New Black, along with Vanita Gupta, director of the Center for Justice with the national ACLU. The event takes place Friday, Feb. 7, at 6 p.m. in the Stueckle Sky Center at Boise State University. Student tickets are $30, and individual tickets are $100.
Speeches will touch on the problems stemming from--and possible solutions to--the issue of incarceration in America. If you like what you hear and you're feeling lucky, you can bid on one of three tickets to brunch with Cox the next morning at the Grove Hotel.