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1 out of 100 American Adults are in Jail


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More than one in a hundred adult Americans are in prison, a higher rate of incarceration than at any time in US history that is pushing the budgets of several states to breaking point, a report warns.

The Pew Centre on the States, a Washington-based research body, reveals that in 2007 the inexorable rise in the prison population saw the US cross what it calls a "sobering threshold". The number of prisoners in federal and local jails grew to 2.3 million, out of the country's adult population of 229.8 million, which gives a ratio of one in 99 adults behind bars.

When that statistic is broken down for different demographic groups, the proportion is even more startling. One in nine black men aged 20 to 34 is incarcerated.

It has long been known that the US has the most prison-happy approach to crime control in the world. China, with a population far greater than America's, comes in second with 1.5 million prisoners, and Russia third with 890,000.

Compared with the UK, America has proportionately five times as many prisoners, with 750 out of 100,000 of its residents incarcerated, as opposed to Britain's 148 per 100,000.

But by comparing the prison numbers to the adult population, as opposed to overall population, the Pew report has underlined the crisis that is facing the country's tough approach to law and order. The report notes that nationwide, more than half of offenders who are released from jail are back inside within three years, either for new crimes or for breaking the terms of their probation.

The report also puts much emphasis on the fiscal crisis that a growing number of states are facing as a result of the incarceration policy. Thirteen states now spend more than $1bn (£503m) each on what they call corrections.

Last year, all 50 states between them spent $44bn on running their prisons - an increase from $10bn 20 years ago. Though Texas last year gained the undesirable distinction of being top of the incarcerations league in terms of numbers, with about 172,000 inmates, California remains the biggest spender, with total costs rising to $9bn.

The outpouring has forced the state's governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, to slash other public services including schools with cuts that education leaders have warned could decimate the state's school system.

The Pew Centre concludes that a "continual increase in our reliance on incarceration will pay declining dividends in crime prevention. Expanding prisons will accomplish less and cost more than it has in the past."

The south, true to its stereotype, appears still wedded most to the bang-them-up approach to crime control, with only three of the 16 southern states recording a drop in prison numbers last year.

The fact that we lead the world in incarcerations is truly pathetic. Obviously, we have some serious problems in our society. Why is this? I'll throw out a few reasons to start the discussion but I realize this doesn't completely explain the problem.

- The war on drugs

- The breakdown of the American family (out-of-wedlock births)

- Because we're a wealthy nation we can afford the cost of apprehension, conviction and extended incarceration

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I wonder what percentage of those people were incarcerated for stealing Hondas.

I didn't see an earlier thread. Link?
http://forums.footballguys.com/forum/index...howtopic=384313
Yes, I just saw that thread. Although it references a similar article, the OP asks an entirely different question.
Because "Why is this" is so original that it deserved its own thread. :lmao:
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I wonder what percentage of those people were incarcerated for stealing Hondas.

I didn't see an earlier thread. Link?
http://forums.footballguys.com/forum/index...howtopic=384313
Yes, I just saw that thread. Although it references a similar article, the OP asks an entirely different question.
Because "Why is this" is so original that it deserved its own thread. :lmao:
So, what's the answer?
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1 out of 100 American Adults are in Jail

Why is this?

I'll take a stab at this one...

They committed a crime and got caught?

Strange reply.

For clarification, my intent is posing this question is to discuss why America leads all other countries in its incarceration rate. Thus, why are more Americans committing crimes and being caught and sentenced per capita than other countries?

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The prison-industrial complex has something to do with it.

From the article...

The enormous increase in America's inmate population can be explained in large part by the sentences given to people who have committed nonviolent offenses. Crimes that in other countries would usually lead to community service, fines, or drug treatment—or would not be considered crimes at all—in the United States now lead to a prison term, by far the most expensive form of punishment.

I assume this is mainly drug offenses.

It's disconcerting how many Americans think we live in the best country in the world when we have such a disgraceful record in this regard.

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The prison-industrial complex has something to do with it.

From the article...

The enormous increase in America's inmate population can be explained in large part by the sentences given to people who have committed nonviolent offenses. Crimes that in other countries would usually lead to community service, fines, or drug treatment—or would not be considered crimes at all—in the United States now lead to a prison term, by far the most expensive form of punishment.

I assume this is mainly drug offenses.

It's disconcerting how many Americans think we live in the best country in the world when we have such a disgraceful record in this regard.

What's sad is that the article was written 10 years ago -- clearly things have not moved in the right direction since then.
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Huge reason - illegal immigration.If I'm a criminal, I want to pursue my trade here where if I get caught it's 3 hots and a cot - not a bad life considering the ####hole I came from.

:lmao:
Touche'. Can't argue with a smiley face.Oh, I forgot the free gym membership and cable TV.
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Seems to me.......we need to execute more criminals. :blackdot: Most of our prisons are like a day spa. Who wouldn't want to go to jail compared to living on the streets.

There is so many jobs that we could be making these criminals do. There shouldn't be any litter on American streets.

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Huge reason - illegal immigration.If I'm a criminal, I want to pursue my trade here where if I get caught it's 3 hots and a cot - not a bad life considering the ####hole I came from.

<_<
Touche'. Can't argue with a smiley face.Oh, I forgot the free gym membership and cable TV.
and the beatings, rapings, 12 hours a day of staring at a wall, and lack of contact w/ females! ;)
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Seems to me.......we need to execute more criminals. <_< Most of our prisons are like a day spa. Who wouldn't want to go to jail compared to living on the streets.There is so many jobs that we could be making these criminals do. There shouldn't be any litter on American streets.

This is an interesting thought. How does our prison system compare to other countries? Maybe in the US going to prison isn't enough of a deterrent?
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Most of our prisons are like a day spa. Who wouldn't want to go to jail compared to living on the streets.There is so many jobs that we could be making these criminals do. There shouldn't be any litter on American streets.

1. No they're not. Not even close. 2. That suggestion is forbidden by the Constitution. No luck there.
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