Prison America: 1 in 100 Americans Are Now Behind Bars

The United States has now passed a milestone, one of every one hundred adults are in prison or jail. This number grows even more when one considers the number of people on parole or probation. While the dollar is at a record low and our economy is collapsing, we can now at least claim that America now runs the world’s largest prison system.

There are now 2,319,258 Americans were in jail or prison and states are now spending $49 billion on corrections. We now spend 600% more on prisons that higher education.

At POPS, we have continued to argue that part of the solution is to address low risk, high cost older prisoners. Click here.
For the full story, click here

9 thoughts on “Prison America: 1 in 100 Americans Are Now Behind Bars”

  1. JonathanTurley:
    It touches me to see such patriotism and pride. Indeed, the Federal Bureau of Prisons is planning to distribute foam We’re Number One fingers for the public to celebrate.

    Yes, that should give them a “warm and fuzzy” feeling all over, shouldn’t it. They should also manufacture some foam citing us as one of the leading torture nations while they’re at it. I’m just not sure if we’re number one on THAT list or #2 or #3.

  2. On the redistricting issue…since most prisons are in rural areas, but the bulk of crimes are in the urban areas, the incarceration of urban criminals and relocation to rural counties inflates the population of those rural areas for census purposes and simultaneously decreases the population of the urban areas –a classic two-fer! The GOP is usually the benefactor, perhaps coincidentally, perhaps not. For a recent newspaper article about this phenomena and how it is skewing the balance of power in Washington:

    Think of it for a second: take 2 million bodies out of reliably Democratic areas and transfer them to reliably Republican areas and you get a net 4 million pick up in the redistricting battles. Not bad, and on top of that, they can’t vote! It really doesn’t get any better than this if you are a Rove type.

    In politics, nothing is as it simply appears: we are incarcerating more people in America really means we are increasing GOP power. And not so coincidently, the current GOP-appointed judiciary is on a binge of get-tough jurisprudence!

  3. Oh I hate to break up these light hearted topics with gloomy asides, but the growing prison population has been used for political purposes in the southwest.

    Redistricting: yes, the prisoners cannot vote, but they do effect the census of the district they “reside” in and there have been accusations (you will have to google this stuff) that the Republicans (who else) have gamed the system to add bodies to districts to increase the net GOP count. I have no idea if this is true…I am dredging my unreliable memory here. I think Texas and Oklahoma were mentioned….

    THe second issue is that there is increasing privatization of the prison system with all the wonderful side-effects that we have come to expect from that.

  4. Why, thank you!

    And I hope they issue some of those things to Mukasey, Addington, Cheney, Bradbury, et al. when their time comes to serve time!

  5. DW,

    It touches me to see such patriotism and pride. Indeed, the Federal Bureau of Prisons is planning to distribute foam We’re Number One fingers for the public to celebrate.

  6. Great news! I’m going to wear my American Flag lapel pin today with a “1/100” bar beneath it!

    America Number One!!

    We can’t even manufacture a toaster anymore, but we can sure build prisons!

  7. JT, you can probably count on politicians nationwide to brag about this dubious and highly disturbing “record.” And these bragging lawmakers will undoubtedly fail to mention that a high number of these so-called “crimes” are completely NON-VIOLENT, involving NO murder, rape, or any kind of grievous bodily injury to anyone or even deprivation of personal property from anyone to boot.

    Don’t even get me STARTED on the case of Don Siegelman! Who as we all know by now, is now sitting in a federal prison, whose only “crime” appears to be the fact that he’s a Democratic opponent, who stood in his Republican opponent’s way, whose case was given a bright spotlight on THE ABRAMS REPORT last night during the “Bush League Justice” segment. And Siegelman was convicted of….WHAT, exactly? I was watching and listening carefully, but I didn’t hear that mentioned even once. So I have no idea what the original charges even were.

    So, given that a high number of these so-called “criminals” were guilty of nothing more than ticking off the wrong people, which alone is NOT a felony offense, I really fail to see what American lawmakers have to brag about. In fact, they really should be hanging their heads in SHAME!

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