More than 1 in every 100 Americans now behind bars..

Analog

Lifer
Jan 7, 2002
12,755
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I think its rather shameful that the greatest country ever has this terrible statistic. How can this be? It is truly a sad footnote on our nation.

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NEW YORK ? For the first time in history, more than one in every 100 American adults is in jail or prison, according to a new report tracking the surge in inmate population and urging states to rein in corrections costs with alternative sentencing programs.
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The report, released Thursday by the Pew Center on the States, said the 50 states spent more than $49 billion on corrections last year, up from less than $11 billion 20 years earlier. The rate of increase for prison costs was six times greater than for higher education spending, the report said.

Using updated state-by-state data, the report said 2,319,258 adults were held in U.S. prisons or jails at the start of 2008 ? one out of every 99.1 adults, and more than any other country in the world.

The steadily growing inmate population ?is saddling cash-strapped states with soaring costs they can ill afford and failing to have a clear impact either on recidivism or overall crime,? said the report.

Susan Urahn, managing director of the Pew Center on the States, said budget woes are prompting officials in many states to consider new, cost-saving corrections policies that might have been shunned in the recent past for fear of appearing soft in crime.

?We?re seeing more and more states being creative because of tight budgets,? she said in an interview. ?They want to be tough on crime, they want to be a law-and-order state ? but they also want to save money, and they want to be effective.?

The report cited Kansas and Texas as states which have acted decisively to slow the growth of their inmate population. Their actions include greater use of community supervision for low-risk offenders and employing sanctions other than reimprisonment for ex-offenders who commit technical violations of parole and probation rules.

?The new approach, born of bipartisan leadership, is allowing the two states to ensure they have enough prison beds for violent offenders while helping less dangerous lawbreakers become productive, taxpaying citizens,? the report said.

While many state governments have shown bipartisan interest in curbing prison growth, there also are persistent calls to proceed cautiously.

?We need to be smarter,? said David Muhlhausen, a criminal justice expert with the conservative Heritage Foundation. ?We?re not incarcerating all the people who commit serious crimes ? but we?re also probably incarcerating people who don?t need to be.?

According to the report, the inmate population increased last year in 36 states and the federal prison system.

The largest percentage increase ? 12% ? was in Kentucky, where Gov. Steve Beshear highlighted the cost of corrections in his budget speech last month. He noted that the state?s crime rate had increased only about 3% in the past 30 years, while the state?s inmate population has increased by 600%.

The Pew report was compiled by the Center on the State?s Public Safety Performance Project, which is working directly with 13 states on developing programs to divert offenders from prison without jeopardizing public safety.

?For all the money spent on corrections today, there hasn?t been a clear and convincing return for public safety,? said the project?s director, Adam Gelb. ?More and more states are beginning to rethink their reliance on prisons for lower-level offenders and finding strategies that are tough on crime without being so tough on taxpayers.?

The report said prison growth and higher incarceration rates do not reflect a parallel increase in crime or in the nation?s overall population. Instead, it said, more people are behind bars mainly because of tough sentencing measures, such as ?three-strikes? laws, that result in longer prison stays.

?For some groups, the incarceration numbers are especially startling,? the report said. ?While one in 30 men between the ages of 20 and 34 is behind bars, for black males in that age group the figure is one in nine.?

The nationwide figures, as of Jan. 1, include 1,596,127 people in state and federal prisons and 723,131 in local jails ? a total 2,319,258 out of almost 230 million American adults.

The report said the United States is the world?s incarceration leader, far ahead of more populous China with 1.5 million people behind bars. It said the United States also is the leader in inmates per capita (750 per 100,000 people), ahead of Russia (628 per 100,000) and other former Soviet bloc nations which make up the rest of the Top 10.

http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs...080228/NEWS07/80228031
 

Ackmed

Diamond Member
Oct 1, 2003
8,438
475
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Originally posted by: Analog
How can "THe Land of the Free" resolve "The land of the Imprisoned"?
This doesnt make any sense. People are free to do as they please, for the most part. Far more than most any other country. You can protest and display whatever religion you want. In some countries, thats enough to get you in jail. That is why we are called, land of the free. When you break a law, then you face the consequences of your actions. Someone being in prison, doesnt mean that the nation operates any differently. You're not comparing the same things.

 

K1052

Lifer
Aug 21, 2003
42,369
24,309
136
Yet more proof that you can't legislate problems away by mandating tougher sentencing.

How about we abandon the totally useless War on Drugs as a good start to reducing both crime and our prison populations?
 

m1ldslide1

Platinum Member
Feb 20, 2006
2,321
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It's much easier for politicians to build prisons and increase sentencing than it is to address the root problems. I think this will go on into the foreseeable future, and these statistics will climb.
 

Analog

Lifer
Jan 7, 2002
12,755
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Originally posted by: Ackmed
Originally posted by: Analog
How can "THe Land of the Free" resolve "The land of the Imprisoned"?
This doesnt make any sense. People are free to do as they please, for the most part. Far more than most any other country. You can protest and display whatever religion you want. In some countries, thats enough to get you in jail. That is why we are called, land of the free. When you break a law, then you face the consequences of your actions. Someone being in prison, doesnt mean that the nation operates any differently. You're not comparing the same things.
I believe you misunderstood, I agree with what you said...

I meant that the citizens of this nation should be grateful for our freedoms, and thus be good citizens. We should be grateful that we don't have the gulags that the Soviets had, etc. Cherishing your country, I would think, would in turn - bring up citizens that are law abiding and productive. That's all I meant.
 

FoBoT

No Lifer
Apr 30, 2001
63,089
12
76
fobot.com
many crimes should not have incarceration as part of the punishment, we need to bring back humiliation and corporeal punishments, they are cheaper and more effective than incarceration
 

FoBoT

No Lifer
Apr 30, 2001
63,089
12
76
fobot.com
Originally posted by: tenthumbs
How about abiding the law? That's a good start
don't start talking crazy talk now

people have the freedom to break all the laws they want without any social stigma

don't try telling them to just obey the law, you'll get labeled a nutjob
 

Queasy

Moderator<br>Console Gaming
Aug 24, 2001
31,796
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30% of prisoners in federal prisons are illegal aliens. That sounds like a good place to start.
 

Jeff7

Lifer
Jan 4, 2001
41,599
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Legalize marijuana, and watch a considerable percentage of them walk free. Prohibition failed once, why do people seem to think it'll work again?
 

K1052

Lifer
Aug 21, 2003
42,369
24,309
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Originally posted by: Jeff7
Legalize marijuana, and watch a considerable percentage of them walk free. Prohibition failed once, why do people seem to think it'll work again?
Because it has been marketed as a solvable problem by the government when in reality it is no such thing.
 
Aug 25, 2004
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I think a majority of people in jail are there as part of the "war on drugs".

Lucky bastards: being in jail, they don't have to fight the war on terror.

Or the war on Christmas.
 

Linflas

Lifer
Jan 30, 2001
15,392
78
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Originally posted by: FoBoT
many crimes should not have incarceration as part of the punishment, we need to bring back humiliation and corporeal punishments, they are cheaper and more effective than incarceration
And along with that not every petty annoyance needs to have a law enacted to regulate it. There are many things that now have laws enacted in relation to them that used to be regulated by nothing more than simple social stigmas.
 

Glavinsolo

Platinum Member
Sep 2, 2004
2,946
0
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Originally posted by: Queasy
30% of prisoners in federal prisons are illegal aliens. That sounds like a good place to start.
Good note to make.

Also, we are slowly doing away with the death penalty. We also have more technology than previous years to catch more bad guys that would have previously walked.
 

Vic

Elite Member
Jun 12, 2001
49,615
12,209
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Originally posted by: K1052
Yet more proof that you can't legislate problems away by mandating tougher sentencing.

How about we abandon the totally useless War on Drugs as a good start to reducing both crime and our prison populations?
But then the government would have to admit that the unemployment figures aren't as rosy as they've been telling us.
 

tenthumbs

Senior member
Oct 18, 2005
315
2
81
Originally posted by: FoBoT
Originally posted by: tenthumbs
How about abiding the law? That's a good start
don't start talking crazy talk now

people have the freedom to break all the laws they want without any social stigma

don't try telling them to just obey the law, you'll get labeled a nutjob
I guess I'm behind the times. I'll start watching MTV again. Thanks for the heads up!
 

FoBoT

No Lifer
Apr 30, 2001
63,089
12
76
fobot.com
Originally posted by: tenthumbs
Originally posted by: FoBoT
Originally posted by: tenthumbs
How about abiding the law? That's a good start
don't start talking crazy talk now

people have the freedom to break all the laws they want without any social stigma

don't try telling them to just obey the law, you'll get labeled a nutjob
I guess I'm behind the times. I'll start watching MTV again. Thanks for the heads up!
yeah, you should watch that road rules vs. real world show, those chicks are pretty hot
 

K1052

Lifer
Aug 21, 2003
42,369
24,309
136
Originally posted by: Vic
Originally posted by: K1052
Yet more proof that you can't legislate problems away by mandating tougher sentencing.

How about we abandon the totally useless War on Drugs as a good start to reducing both crime and our prison populations?
But then the government would have to admit that the unemployment figures aren't as rosy as they've been telling us.
And that not voting for every single law that puts us in a worse position or takes away more right is "voting against the children" somehow.

I think we can manage to survive.
 

lozina

Lifer
Sep 10, 2001
11,707
6
0
Originally posted by: SpunkyJones
I read it as 99% of the people in the country are not breaking the law.
or that 99% of people have not been caught ;)
 

jjones

Lifer
Oct 9, 2001
15,425
2
0
Originally posted by: SpunkyJones
I read it as 99% of the people in the country are not breaking the law.
Funny, I read it as 99% of the people don't get caught.

Edit: Damn you lozina! :D

 

Safeway

Lifer
Jun 22, 2004
12,081
9
81
Originally posted by: K1052
Yet more proof that you can't legislate problems away by mandating tougher sentencing.
Well you can, just kill them quicker.
 

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