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U.S. prison population largest in world
    #1639216 - 06/17/03 10:23 AM (18 years, 4 months ago)


Story last updated at 7:26 a.m. Sunday, June 1, 2003

U.S. prison population largest in world
The Baltimore Sun
With a record-setting 2 million people now locked up in American jails and prisons, the United States has overtaken Russia and has a higher percentage of its citizens behind bars than any other country.

Those are the latest dreary milestones resulting from a two-decade imprisonment boom that experts say has probably helped reduce crime but also has created ballooning costs and stark racial inequities.

"Why, in the land of the free, should 2 million men, women and children be locked up?" asks Andrew Coyle, director of the International Centre for Prison Studies at the University of London and a leading authority on incarceration.

The latest statistics support that view. The new high of 2,019,234, announced by the Justice Department in April, underscores the extraordinary scale of American imprisonment compared to most of the world.

During the 1990s, the United States and Russia -- a far poorer country emerging from totalitarian rule and beset by official corruption and organized crime -- vied for the dubious position of the highest incarceration rate on the planet.

But in the last few years, Russian authorities have carried out large-scale amnesties to ease overcrowding in disease-infested prisons, and the United States has emerged unchallenged into first place, at 702 prisoners per 100,000 population. Russia now has 665 prisoners per 100,000.

United States imprisons at a far greater rate than developed Western nations and many impoverished and authoritarian countries. On a per capita basis, according to the best available figures, the United States has three times more prisoners than Iran, four times more than Poland, five times more than Tanzania and seven times more than Germany.

Bruce Western, a sociologist at Princeton University, says sentencing policies have had a glaringly disproportionate impact on black men. The Justice Department reports that one in eight black men in their 20s and early 30s were behind bars last year, compared with 1 in 63 white men. The chance of a black man going to prison in his lifetime is one in three, the department says.

For black male high school dropouts, Western says, the numbers are still worse: 41 percent of black dropouts between 22 and 30 were locked up in 1999. "I think this is one of the most important developments in race relations in the last 30 years," he says.

A major cause is the war on drugs. In 1980, says Marc Mauer, assistant director of the Sentencing Project in Washington, about 40,000 Americans were locked up for drugs-only offenses. Now the number is 450,000, three-fourths of them black or Latino, though drug use is no higher in those groups than among whites.


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Re: U.S. prison population largest in world [Re: motaman]
    #1639234 - 06/17/03 10:41 AM (18 years, 4 months ago)

Something has to change. That is WAY to many people. It makes me mad and ashamed to be a US citizen :frown:

Astronauts get all the tang they want.

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Re: U.S. prison population largest in world [Re: Static]
    #1639628 - 06/17/03 02:37 PM (18 years, 4 months ago)

There was another artile in political forum with a fact like 30% of black men between the ages of 20-30 were in prison for at least some time.....only last year!

With all these prisoners doing community service work for nothing, and prisons popping up all over, its almost like a reflection of what has gone before with slavery...exept now its drug users, and terrorists ... which is a much bettter idea because anyone can qualify as one of those.

Damn i wish i could find that article in potlitcal forum.... :tongue:

"Know your Body - Know your Mind - Know your Substance - Know your Source.

Lest we forget. "

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Re: U.S. prison population largest in world [Re: motaman]
    #1639697 - 06/17/03 03:05 PM (18 years, 4 months ago)

Gotta keep putting people in jail to get that tax money to build more jails and hire more police, etc... Plus more people going through the system is job security for lawyers... many of which eventually end up in congress writing the laws which will continue to protect their profession.

Just another spore in the wind.

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Re: U.S. prison population largest in world [Re: Seuss]
    #1641461 - 06/18/03 05:02 AM (18 years, 4 months ago)


We?re number one !!!!

<) )~  ANTIFA
/ \
( (>    SUPER
/ \
<) )>    SOLDIERS
  / \

Don't vibe my harsh, bro.

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Re: U.S. prison population largest in world [Re: Baby_Hitler]
    #1645325 - 06/19/03 05:31 PM (18 years, 4 months ago)


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