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The Incarceration Epidemic

Dittohead not!

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The Incarceration Epidemic
About one-fourth of all incarcerated people on Earth is in the U.S. That constitutes a public health problem. The U.S. incarceration rate has more than quadrupled since 1980. It's now the highest in the world, just ahead of Russia and Rwanda. It is estimated that approximately 2.3 million Americans are now behind bars. This is about one-fourth of all the incarcerated people on Earth, though the U.S. represents only one-twentieth of the world's population. When the figures for those under probation and parole are added, about 1 in 18 U.S. men is under some form of monitoring or control. The figure for blacks is 1 in 11.
Why have U.S. incarceration rates skyrocketed? The answer is not rising crime rates. In fact, crime rates have actually dropped by more than a quarter over the past 40 years. Some look at these statistics and find confirmation of their view that expanding prison populations reduces crime rates. In fact, however, these same decreases have occurred even in places where incarceration rates have remained unchanged.
It's time for some reform, it seems to me.
 

Thoreau72

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"Perhaps the greatest contributor has been the war on drugs?" Perhaps?

Kinda hard to take somebody seriously after they make a remark like that. :doh

It is a valid subject, but the Atlantic looks bad in that one, though any discussion is better than none.
 

Dittohead not!

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"Perhaps the greatest contributor has been the war on drugs?" Perhaps?

Kinda hard to take somebody seriously after they make a remark like that. :doh

It is a valid subject, but the Atlantic looks bad in that one, though any discussion is better than none.
Does that mean that the war on drugs has not been the greatest contributor, or that there is no perhaps about it?
 

tessaesque

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I agree there's an issue, but that article looks like it was written by a high school kid.
 

Dittohead not!

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I agree there's an issue, but that article looks like it was written by a high school kid.
says the person whose avatar looks like a child's drawing.

(I know, I know, there is no connection, and that was a bad joke)

OK, so you don't think the article was up to high standards of journalism, but is there a problem with having a quarter of all incarcerated people right here in the bastion of freedom?
 

specklebang

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The Punishment Industry is a growth industry just like every other business. At least it's domestic for the most part although the guards uniforms will be made in Taiwan and their guns made in Austria.

Many factors are involved. First, the law has many new tools to catch people with. Second, drug sales are one of the few high income possibilities for the poorly educated and very provocative.

Since "lock em up" is populist and money can be made - I expect the prison industry to keep growing.

I suspect you could legalize drugs tomorrow and they'll just find other things to arrest you for. It looks like pot might be legal in the next 20 years but there are plenty of other drugs that won't be.
 

tessaesque

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says the person whose avatar looks like a child's drawing.

(I know, I know, there is no connection, and that was a bad joke)

OK, so you don't think the article was up to high standards of journalism, but is there a problem with having a quarter of all incarcerated people right here in the bastion of freedom?
I think I've been pretty consistent in my belief that the prison system is broken. I think the article even makes some valid points. I just couldn't stop myself from commenting on how badly it was written.

And my avatar rocks. :2razz:
 

Thoreau72

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Does that mean that the war on drugs has not been the greatest contributor, or that there is no perhaps about it?
That there is no perhaps about it.

I agree with Tessa--it seems the writer is inexperienced, or simply trying too hard to be "fair and balanced." At some point, one must take a position.

It is well established fact that the drug prohibition drives our prison industrial complex. We have led the world for decades in the per capita rate of imprisonment metric, and the drug laws are the largest single factor for that.
 
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