We're Number One again!
Here's something about the USA you might not have known: WE'RE NUMBER ONE in Prisoners! The Land of the Free runs the World's Largest Prison System. We have more prisoners than Russia! We have more prisoners than China! (Russia used to be Number One, but they cheated around 2000 and freed 250,000 Gulagniks.) One of every four prisoners on Earth is in a USA prison or jail! Women in prison! Children in Kiddie Jail! Men in prison!
Note also that prisons have replaced psychiatric hospitals as the public institution which cares for our most seriously mentally ill.
And it's hugely racist! Check out the stats of black and Hispanic prisoners, the rates at which they go to prison compared to whites!
I don't wish any bad things to happen to the people of any other nation on Earth, but jeez I sure would like it a lot if, before I die, the USA is Number 2 in this grotesque Anti-Freedom Olympics. (Actually if you really want to make me happy on my next deathday, tell me the USA is No. 87th in this vile competition. Don't lie just to make me feel better.)
On Vleeptron we have like almost No Prisoners. You have to get caught soaking an American Heritage Girl in barbecue sauce and shoving her into the microwave to go to prison on Vleeptron.
On Vleeptron we attack the root causes of incarceration: Education (most prisoners are illiterate), substance abuse (most prisoners have substance abuse problems, and they don't get any real treatment in prison, but drugs are plentiful and easy to get in prison, so you can get worse), unemployment, children being raised by families missing one or both prisoner parents. It's now typical for children in inner-city ethnic slums to have had one or two parents in prison for three generations. Kids grow up thinking that's normal. In their neighborhood, it is normal.
And on Vleeptron, you don't go to prison any faster or any longer just because you're plaid. All races get screwed on the prison thing equally.
So ... like ... are we Safer?
Nahhhh. Countries which incarcerate fractions of their population compared to the USA have much lower rates of violence, homicide, drug abuse.
The report can be downloaded from http://www.csdp.org/research/pjim04.pdf
Sunday 24 April 2005
Reuters News Service
Copyright 2005 Reuters
U.S. prison population,
world's highest, rises again
by Alan Elsner
world's highest, rises again
by Alan Elsner
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- The U.S. penal system, the world's largest,maintained its steady growth in 2004, the Department of Justice reported on Sunday.
The latest official half-yearly figures found the nation's prison and jail population at 2,131,180 in the middle of last year, an increase of 2.3 percent over 2003.
The United States has incarcerated 726 people per 100,000 of itspopulation, seven to 10 times as many as most other democracies. The rate for England is 142 per 100,000, for France 91 and for Japan 58.
The figures issued by the department's statistical unit showed that 12.6 percent of black males in their late twenties were behind bars. The comparable rate for Hispanic males was 3.6 percent and for whites 1.7 percent.
"Unless we promote alternatives to prison, the nation will continue to lead the world in imprisonment," said Jason Ziedenberg, executive director of the Justice Policy Institute, a think-tank that studies prison issues.
According to the Justice Department, violent crime in the United States fell by over 33 percent from 1994 to 2003 and property crimes fell by 23 percent.
Yet the prison population has continued to climb, increasing an annual average of 3.5 percent since 1995, partly due to high recidivism. Within three years of their release, two of every three prisoners are back behind bars.
Criminologists attribute the growth in the prison population to "get tough on crime" policies that have subjected hundreds of thousands of nonviolent drug and property offenders to long mandatory sentences.
"We have to be concerned about an overloaded system which sentences many offenders quickly and is not dong a good job of sorting out people who should be incarcerated from people for whom other responses would produce better, less expensive results," said Malcolm Young, executive director of the Sentencing Project, a Washington think-tank.
The rise in the prison population varies by state. Since 1998, 12 states experienced stable or declining incarceration rates but crime rates in those states declined at the same rate as in the other 38.
Texas, with 704 per 100,000 people in state prisons, incarcerates almost seven times as many as Maine, at 149 per 100,000.
It costs around $22,000 to lock up one person for a year. The United States spends about $57 billion annually on its prison and jail system.
Women remain the fastest-growing segment of the prison population, increasing by 2.9 percent over the year to over 103,000. In 1980, the United States imprisoned 12,000 women.
In addition, the United States jails around 283,000 people with serious mental illnesses and almost 92,000 foreigners.
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