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US Prison Population Grows Again

TimmyBoy

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U.S. prison population continued to grow in 2004 Sun Oct 23, 5:10 PM ET



WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. prison population, already the largest in the world, grew by 1.9 percent in 2004, leaving federal jails at 40 percent over capacity, according to Justice Department figures released on Sunday.

Inmates in federal, state, local and other prisons totaled nearly 2.3 million at the end of last year, the government said. The 1.9 percent increase was lower than the average annual growth rate of 3.2 percent during the last decade.

According to the International Center for Prison Studies at King's College in London, there are more people behind bars in the United States than in any other country.

China had the second-largest prison population with 1.5 million prisoners, according to statistics updated in April and cited by King's College. The total U.S. population is about 296 million, while China's is 1.3 billion.

The Justice Department said the U.S. incarceration rate hit 486 sentenced inmates per 100,000 last year, up 18 percent from 411 a decade ago.

The five states with the highest incarceration rates last year were all in the South, led by Louisiana with 816 sentenced prisoners per 100,000 state residents. The five states with the lowest rates were all in the North, with Maine experiencing 148 sentenced inmates per 100,000 state residents in 2004, according to the Justice Department figures.

The U.S. prison population continued to grow last year even though reports of violent crime during 2004 were at the lowest level since the government began compiling statistics 32 years ago, according to a government report released in September.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20051023/ts_nm/crime_prisons_dc
 

Stinger

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.......And?
 

TimmyBoy

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Stinger said:
.......And?
So you think it's OK to have the highest prison population in the world? Don't you think something has gone wrong here?
 

Stinger

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TimmyBoy said:
So you think it's OK to have the highest prison population in the world?
I think it is a specious question. What are you proposing, we let out enought to make it all equal?

Don't you think something has gone wrong here?
Maybe something has gone right here in that we catch more criminals than other places. Or maybe as opposed to some other countries we imprison rather than hold summary executions.
 

TimmyBoy

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Stinger said:
I think it is a specious question. What are you proposing, we let out enought to make it all equal?



Maybe something has gone right here in that we catch more criminals than other places. Or maybe as opposed to some other countries we imprison rather than hold summary executions.
I've heard this BS argument before.
 

Stinger

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TimmyBoy said:
I've heard this BS argument before.
And apparently it you couldn't support your position then either.
 

TimmyBoy

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Stinger said:
And apparently it you couldn't support your position then either.
Give me a chance, this is a complex subject. My case is that the justice system is not about real and true justice, but rather social control.
 

Stinger

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TimmyBoy said:
Give me a chance, this is a complex subject. My case is that the justice system is not about real and true justice, but rather social control.
Your case was

U.S. prison population continued to grow in 2004

And that was it.

It's not real complex and says nothing about what you state above.
 

TimmyBoy

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Stinger said:
Your case was

U.S. prison population continued to grow in 2004

And that was it.

It's not real complex and says nothing about what you state above.
This article will be one of many things to build a case of how the US Justice system is not about real and true justice but about social control.
 

scottyz

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There is a definite problem with this picture! We seem to have given up trying to rehabilitate people and instead just lock them up. We're sticking non-violent offenders in with the violent ones and producing worse criminals. Non-violent drug users get sent to prison for years why exactly? Didn't Florida just send a man to prison for forging prescriptions for drugs he needed, but no doctor would give him because they fear the DEA? Now the state gets to pay for his meds! It's a complete waste of money and resources.
 

TimmyBoy

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scottyz said:
There is a definite problem with this picture! We seem to have given up trying to rehabilitate people and instead just lock them up. We're sticking non-violent offenders in with the violent ones and producing worse criminals. Non-violent drug users get sent to prison for years why exactly? Didn't Florida just send a man to prison for forging prescriptions for drugs he needed, but no doctor would give him because they fear the DEA? Now the state gets to pay for his meds! It's a complete waste of money and resources.
Not for the rich who make money of the prison industrial complex.
 

Stinger

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TimmyBoy said:
This article will be one of many things to build a case of how the US Justice system is not about real and true justice but about social control.
Where does the article say anything of the sort? For all you can tell from the article we have more prisoners because we treat our criminal better than any other country offering them more rights to fair trials.
 

Stinger

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scottyz said:
There is a definite problem with this picture! We seem to have given up trying to rehabilitate people
We tried that and the crime rates went up. Which would you rather have fewer criminals in jail and higher crime rates or more criminals in jail and less crime rate?

and instead just lock them up.
Well it seems to work better.


We're sticking non-violent offenders in with the violent ones and producing worse criminals.
meaning drug law offenders. Overall about 14% of those in prison (local, state and federal) Well first I would note that most of the countries in the world imprison drug offenders so that is not what skews our number. Yes we do need to spend more on prisons and seperate non-violent and violent but that would have little to do with the number of people in toto who are incarcerated, what this thread is about. You of course, and by admittence, are talking about drug offenders. I doubt you will find a lot of first offense minor drug offenses in maximum security prisons.
 

UtahBill

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TimmyBoy said:
This article will be one of many things to build a case of how the US Justice system is not about real and true justice but about social control.
Which felony crimes would you switch to misdemeanor so we could let some of them out?
 

aps

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I think what upsets me is why is our prison population growing. We may be catching more criminals, but why do we have so many people who have no morals/ethics/conscience? It's disappointing that we have to lock all our doors at night, lock our cars, hide jewelry.
 

Stinger

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aps said:
I think what upsets me is why is our prison population growing. We may be catching more criminals, but why do we have so many people who have no morals/ethics/conscience? It's disappointing that we have to lock all our doors at night, lock our cars, hide jewelry.
Just look at the culture we are allowing to take over our society.
 

Stinger

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TimmyBoy said:
Not for the rich who make money of the prison industrial complex.
ROFL so that is the reason you are stating that more police are arresting more criminals and more judges are sending them to jail. Why would they all be doing this just so some people could get rich, what do they get out of it?
 

aps

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Stinger said:
Just look at the culture we are allowing to take over our society.
Ah yes, the religious right. ;)
 

Stinger

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galenrox said:
One thing you have to do before proposing a solution is identifying the problem.

So let's look at some statistics:
55% of federal prisoners are serving time for drug related offenses
Only 13% are serving time for a violent offense.
72.1% of federal prisoners are serving time for non-violent offenses, and have no history of violence.
34.4% of federal prisoners are first time non violent offenders.
OK that makes sense, so what is the point or "problem" you think needs to be "solved" and how?

Black drug offenders are 20% more likely to be sentenced to prison time than whites, hispanics are 40% more likely.
Well, "drug offenders" is a pretty broad term and doesn't say how many are repeat and to what degree they were involved in drugs, but what is the "problem" your think needs to be "solved" and how.

The average time a black drug offender spends in prison (57.2 months) is almost the same as the average time a white person spends for a violent crime (58.8 months)
http://www.sentencingproject.org/pdfs/federalprison.pdf
Interesting factoid.
http://www.sentencingproject.org/pdfs/federalprison.pdf

And to your claim that maybe we just get more of them:
There are 500,000 burglaries each month
Only 250,000 are reported to the police
Only 35,000 are caught
That means we catch the burglars only 7% of the time
(to be fair, that's 14% of those reported)
Oh, but there's more
only 30,450 are prosecuted
and only 24,060 are convicted,
and only 6,010 are sent to prison.
so thus if you commit a burglary in America, you have a 1.2% chance of going to prison.

And?

I'm not proposing a solution, since this is just the tip of the iceburg as far as information about our prison and justice system goes, but just because a solution isn't suggested doesn't mean a discussion isn't meritted.
So you had not point and can't even say if there is even a "problem"?
 

UtahBill

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Here is a solution. Let the first 50,000 of the lowest level offenses volunteer to go to Iraq and fight. Every day they serve there is good for 2 days off their sentence.
Want to bet that there will be almost no volunteers?:2razz:
 

Stinger

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As long as you are so interested in the statisitc, research this. What effect has the explosion of methaphetimines had on the number drug offenders inprisoned and the number of people imprisoned in total. That's a big part of the problem.
 
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