Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Last year, 2.3 million in prison
War Hero Tackles US Over Degrading Prison Conditions by Rupert Cornwell
"When it comes to sending people to jail, America is the undisputed world champion. In 1970, a mere 200,000 people were behind bars. Last year, 2.3 million were held in federal, state and county prisons, more than 1 per cent of all adults in the US and five times the international average. Blacks, predictably, bear the brunt of this compulsion to incarcerate, accounting for 40 per cent of the prison population. This punishment industry gives work to more than two million, more even than the 1.7 million employed in higher education."
"... Of the 700,000 men and women who are released each year, two-thirds are back in jail within three years. As Webb puts it: "Either we are the most evil people on earth, or we're doing something wrong."