Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Is Locking Them Up Helping to Bust the Budget?

Why We Must Reform Our Criminal Justice System

By U.S. Senator from Virginia, Jim Webb

America's criminal justice system is broken.

How broken? The numbers are stark:

• The United States has 5% of the world's population, yet possesses 25% of the world's prison population;

• More than 2.38 million Americans are now in prison, and another 5 million remain on probation or parole. That amounts to 1 in every 31 adults in the United States is in prison, in jail, or on supervised release;

• Incarcerated drug offenders have soared 1200% since 1980, up from 41,000 to 500,000 in 2008; and

• 60% of offenders are arrested for non-violent offensives--many driven by mental illness or drug addiction.

Numbers only tell part of the story.

Read more

The Largest Prison Population, the Highest Incarceration Rate

The United States incarcerates more people than any country in the world, including the far more populous nation of China. At the start of the new year, the American penal system held more than 2.3 million adults. China was second, with 1.5 million people behind bars, and Russia was a distant third with 890,000 inmates, according to the latest available figures. Beyond the sheer number of inmates, America also is the global leader in the rate at which it incarcerates its citizenry, outpacing nations like South Africa and Iran. In Germany, 93 people are in prison for every 100,000 adults and children. In the U.S, the rate is roughly eight times that, or 750 per 100,000.

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Anonymous said...

Fulk do you think that the little slaps on the hands some of the judges are giving minors maybe leading to worse crimes when they are adults ? Im not saying they should be locked up i just feel if while they are in the learning stage of life if they get almost no punishment when they screw up it sets forth the thoughts that they can get by when they are adults. Taking away their drivers permit might get some attention.

Amanda said...

I'm so glad that Senator Webb is one of the few working senators in Washington. He is not afraid to tackle systemic, politically sensitive issues.

Uncle Sam said...

If the GOP weren't so scared of their own shadow this wouldn't be an issue. But no, the neocon cowards are so scared of non-whites and anyone who commits a a minor crime that they want to lock eveyone up. Then they bitch about the cost to taxpayers to keep the prisoners a ward of the state. Typical GOP ignorant hypocracy.

Anonymous said...

I personally know of a man who has been arrested 128 times, and is still on the streets. He hasn't killed anyone, but he wreaks havoc on society. The prisons are too full of "serious offenders" to have space for him, so the judges let him back each time to the streets, where he gets in trouble again. Do you want to let some of those "serious offenders" out?