Is America Becoming a Nation of Ex-Cons?

8 Pages Posted: 1 Sep 2015

Date Written: July 2, 2015


Mass incarceration rates are only part of the challenge facing (and posed by) the American criminal justice system. An estimated 25% of U.S. adults already have a criminal record and, with new felony convictions being churned out at a rate of a million per year — one every 30 seconds — America’s ex-offender population is growing exponentially. Our country is well on its way to becoming a nation of ex-cons. Already, the ex-offender class is the nation’s largest legally discriminated-against minority group, and it is growing. The adverse social implications of this trend remain unclear and the critical demographic tipping point is still uncertain. But whatever the details, this is surely not good path for the nation to be on.

Keywords: mass incarceration, criminal justice reform, social trends, ex-offenders, felons, ex-felons, criminal law, conviction rates, corrections, discrimination, collateral consequences

Suggested Citation

Humbach, John A., Is America Becoming a Nation of Ex-Cons? (July 2, 2015). Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law, Vol. 12, No. 2, 2015, Available at SSRN:

John A. Humbach (Contact Author)

Pace University School of Law ( email )

78 North Broadway
White Plains, NY 10603
United States
(914) 422-4239 (Phone)
(914) 422-4015 (Fax)


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