Record-High Ratio of Americans in Prison
For the first time in U.S. history, more than one of every 100 adults is in jail or prison, according to a new report documenting America's rank as the world's No. 1 incarcerator. It urges states to curtail corrections spending by placing fewer low-risk offenders behind bars.
Using state-by-state data, the report says 2,319,258 Americans were in jail or prison at the start of 2008 — one out of every 99.1 adults. Whether per capita or in raw numbers, it's more than any other nation.
On average, states spend 6.8 percent of their general fund dollars on corrections, the report said. Oregon had the highest spending rate, at 10.9 percent; Alabama the lowest at 2.6 percent.
Four states — Vermont, Michigan, Oregon and Connecticut — now spend more on corrections than they do on higher education, the report said.
Even if you take the view that blue states (i.e. presumed to be "liberal") spend more for better-quality incarceration, you would also
expect them to spend more for higher education. Yet the only states spending more on corrections than higher education are blue states.
Shocking I know, but as I recall from my history book learnin' the Union spent more than the Confederacy on their POWs, so I guess that meant them rebels wuz easy on 'em. There was even a book about one of them there camps, Andersonville it was called, IIRC...
One in one hundred Americans are incarcerated! That is truly a disturbing fact.
The highest incarceration rate in the world --- I'll do a reverse Michelle Obama on that one.
I believe the report also mentioned that this doesn't seem to effect crime rates (which are sure to go up with the worsening economy) or recidivism. Something is broken and needs to be fixed.