46% of federal sentences in Connecticut are drug-related — fourth highest in U.S.

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The Coalition Against Drug Abuse

More than 46 percent of the federal court sentences in Connecticut were for drug-related crimes in 2013, well ahead of the national average of 31 percent. Only West Virginia, Maine and Arkansas have a higher rate, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Coalition Against Drug Abuse

But among those states, Connecticut is unique because the most common sentence is for crack cocaine. In Arkansas, it’s methamphetamine. In West Virginia and Maine, it’s “other” drugs, such as prescription painkillers.

TrendCT took a closer look at the figures provided by the United States Sentencing Commission and transferred the data from their PDFs to a readable dataset.

In Connecticut, data shows crack cocaine is becoming more of a problem, contrary to nationwide trends.

Nationwide, sentencing for methamphetamine and marijuana has increased as a percentage of all drug convictions. But in Connecticut, sentences for those substances are a small percentage.

In 1995, about 40 percent of all federal sentences — including fraud, larceny and immigration-related crimes — were drug-related; that dropped to around 30 percent in the early 2010s. But in Connecticut, the opposite has been true.

In the western half of the U.S., meth-related sentences are the most common, according to analysis from the Coalition Against Drug Abuse using data from a 2013 United States Sentencing Commission report. Though marijuana has had a resurgence because of legalization in some states like Colorado, only the three states by the Mexican border — Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona — had increased sentencing for the drug.

Regionally, New England’s most common federal drug-related sentences are for cocaine, heroin and crack cocaine.

Across the country, cocaine sentences are more prevalent than crack cocaine sentences — just not in New England and the other states colored in purple below:

Coalition Against Drug Abuse

As far as drug trafficking sentences, Connecticut is on the lower end of the spectrum per capita:

Coalition Against Drug Abuse

What do you think?

  • CentralLondoner1

    USA is losing the war on drugs. They should take advice from Indonesia.

  • nana3015

    If there were more jobs and less welfare in CT and in the USA in general, there would be less drug addiction. People who work for a living dont have time for drugs. Drugs are the escape of welfare parasites, and the chronically unemployed in general. In the USA under Obama there are incredibly 96 million adults that are not in the work force. They have plenty of time to escape with drugs.