Graph showing the portion of the civilian labor force that works in agriculture or for the justice system from 1971 to 2012. In 1971, about 4% of the workforce was in agriculture. The number of agricultural workers have declined as the number of justice system employees has grown, and by 2001, the number of police, corrections and judicial employees was higher than the number of agricultural workers.

Data Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics Justice Employment and Expenditures Extracts series and the Current Population Survey, conducted by the Bureau of Census for the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which reports the number of agricultural workers and the size of the total labor force for each year from 1946 to present. (Graph: Emily Widra, 2017)

This graph originally appeared in Tracking the impact of the prison system on the economy.



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  • May 15, 2018:
    Our Policy Analyst Lucius Couloute will be at the LEDA Summit on Race and Inclusion in Holland, Michigan, presenting his research on the challenges and disadvantages people face when they are released from prison. Tickets are available on LEDA’s website.

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