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Zakaria: Incarceration nation
cnn.com/TIME Magazine ^ | March 22nd, 2012 | By Fareed Zakaria

Posted on 03/29/2012 7:52:57 PM PDT by Razzz42

“Mass incarceration on a scale almost unexampled in human history is a fundamental fact of our country today,” writes the New Yorker’s Adam Gopnik. “Over all, there are now more people under ‘correctional supervision’ in America - more than 6 million - than were in the Gulag Archipelago under Stalin at its height.” Is this hyperbole? Here are the facts. The U.S. has 760 prisoners per 100,000 citizens. That’s not just many more than in most other developed countries but seven to 10 times as many. Japan has 63 per 100,000, Germany has 90, France has 96, South Korea has 97, and ­Britain - with a rate among the ­highest - has 153... ...This wide gap between the U.S. and the rest of the world is relatively recent... ...More than half of America’s federal inmates today are in prison on drug convictions. In 2009 alone, 1.66 million Americans were arrested on drug charges, more than were arrested on assault or larceny charges. And 4 of 5 of those arrests were simply for possession... ...Conservatives and liberals love to sound tough on crime, and both sides agreed in the 1990s to a wide range of new federal infractions, many of them carrying mandatory sentences for time in state or federal prison. And as always in American politics, there is the money trail. Many state prisons are now run by private companies that have powerful lobbyists in state capitals... ...In 2011, California spent $9.6 billion on prisons vs. $5.7 billion on the UC system and state colleges. Since 1980, California has built one college campus and 21 prisons. A college student costs the state $8,667 per year; a prisoner costs it $45,006 a year.

(Excerpt) Read more at globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government
KEYWORDS: convictions; incarcerationnation; prison; prisonstatistics; society

1 posted on 03/29/2012 7:53:03 PM PDT by Razzz42
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To: Razzz42

We have a criminal problem. Would Fareed prefer we chop off their hands?

Comparisons to Stalin are just plain silly.


2 posted on 03/29/2012 7:54:50 PM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both)
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To: BenLurkin
We have a criminal problem.

Yep. And elections aren't until November.

/johnny

3 posted on 03/29/2012 7:58:58 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: Razzz42
Incarceration is big, big business.

US leads the per capita incarceration rate, followed closely by Russia with Uganda in third place (no kidding).

It's a national disgrace.

4 posted on 03/29/2012 8:05:27 PM PDT by Zuben Elgenubi
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To: Razzz42

When the phalanx of freepers invariably comment on this thread about how we have a criminal problem and not a prison industrial complex problem, ask them just how many Americans per 100k population would need to be incarcerated before they’d consider the problem to be the prison-industrial complex, and not the criminality of the population.


5 posted on 03/29/2012 8:06:21 PM PDT by JerseyHighlander
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To: Razzz42
How many convicted murderers have been sitting on Death row for 20+ years?

Clean out death row and then do the math again. The numbers will look way better.

6 posted on 03/29/2012 8:06:21 PM PDT by Slump Tester (What if I'm pregnant Teddy? Errr-ahh -Calm down Mary Jo, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it)
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To: BenLurkin

I do think prison reform is a worthwhile discussion. I’m not talking about individuals who have harmed others, but the ones we incarcerate for relatively minor crimes as to whether that’s the best way to deal with them.


7 posted on 03/29/2012 8:07:58 PM PDT by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults.)
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To: Slump Tester

Thanks for posting without thought.
Due process means nothing to you, let’s get rid of the taxpayer expenses as our nation’s first priority.


8 posted on 03/29/2012 8:10:04 PM PDT by JerseyHighlander
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To: JerseyHighlander
" . . . ask them just how many Americans per 100k population would need to be incarcerated before they’d consider the problem to be the prison-industrial complex, and not the criminality of the population."

If you are a male, 26 years of age, you have a one in four chance of incarceration on any given day.

9 posted on 03/29/2012 8:14:17 PM PDT by Zuben Elgenubi
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To: Razzz42

“a prisoner costs it $45,006 a year.”

They cost a lot more when they are running around committing crimes.

A lot more. And some things, like being unraped or unterrorized, really don’t even have a price.


10 posted on 03/29/2012 8:15:48 PM PDT by Persevero (Homeschooling for Excellence since 1992)
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To: Zuben Elgenubi

When I was a 26 year old male I was an active freeper.
My life experiences watching guys I knew from school, work, socially go through the meatgrinder that is the legal/prison industry in NJ/NY has turned two entire generations against the ‘rule of law’ as has been dictated to us in our lives.

As this recession turned into a lost decade, the few remaining people our age living inside the bubble look more and more like gerbils to a larger and larger majority of the population. A population that is no more or less criminally inclined than any prior generation, but burdened with millions of pages of new laws and regulations that all result in imprisonment and/or probation/supervisory sentences.

Worse yet, this attitude is also held by the vast majority of LEOs near my age too. Speed traps on gerbils bring in revenue. As LEOs in NJ/NY have fixed pensions that kick in early, large numbers of baby boomer LEOs are retiring every day (earlier than almost all private sector baby boomers and even most public sector baby boomers in comparison), being replaced with a new doctrinal attitude... etc.


11 posted on 03/29/2012 8:23:38 PM PDT by JerseyHighlander
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To: Zuben Elgenubi
"If you are a male, 26 years of age, you have a one in four chance of incarceration on any given day."

Something is wrong with that statistic. If true it means the 26 year old has 75% chance of staying out of jail today. Another 75% chance of staying out tomorrow if he makes it through today. The chance of staying out of jail for a whole week would be .75 x .75 x .75 x .75 x .75 x .75 x .75 = 13%. Continue for a month and the odds of staying out of jail drop to one in 5,000.

12 posted on 03/29/2012 8:27:58 PM PDT by Neanderthal
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To: JerseyHighlander
Get back to Treason, Piracy, Counterfeiting, and International law violations as being the only Federal violations. That should help some numbers.

Second, if HeritageRomneyObamacare is ruled Constitutional, we are gonna have alot mo' criminals.

13 posted on 03/29/2012 8:28:38 PM PDT by Theoria (Rush Limbaugh: Ron Paul sounds like an Islamic terrorist)
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To: Razzz42
So, I have a solution.

The windswept, barren, often-frozen Aleutian island chain extends 1200 miles into the Ocean towards Russia.

So, we empty all the prisons and drop the prisoners off on the islands, and invite them to walk home. The mile marker where you get dropped off will vary with the type of crime.

Crooked politicians would get dropped off one mile offshore of the outermost island.

14 posted on 03/29/2012 8:29:13 PM PDT by The Duke
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To: Neanderthal

I stated “on any given day” with good reason.


15 posted on 03/29/2012 8:34:10 PM PDT by Zuben Elgenubi
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To: JerseyHighlander

Due process? That shouldn’t require 15 or 20 years. Offing convicted murderers beats the hell out of feeding and housing them until they die of old age. The savings would be astronomical. How much do you think has been spent on assholes like Charles Manson? (And HE’S not even on death row.)


16 posted on 03/29/2012 8:35:19 PM PDT by Slump Tester (What if I'm pregnant Teddy? Errr-ahh -Calm down Mary Jo, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it)
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To: JerseyHighlander
A population that is no more or less criminally inclined than any prior generation, but burdened with millions of pages of new laws and regulations that all result in imprisonment and/or probation/supervisory sentences.

This is what our older FReepers (I'm in my 7th decade) do not appreciate. The toll upon younger males due to all these regulations and the apparatus in place to provide the Matrix. It's a national disgrace.

17 posted on 03/29/2012 8:40:15 PM PDT by Zuben Elgenubi
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To: Slump Tester

There are only 3300 inmates on death row in the US.
Out of 2 Million plus inmates.

Every study (mostly DNA studies) in the US shows something like a few percentage of death row inmates executed were innocent.


18 posted on 03/29/2012 8:43:08 PM PDT by JerseyHighlander
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To: Razzz42

That’s not just many more than in most other developed countries but seven to 10 times as many.————

Well, we did stop those burning at the stake, hanging by nooses from a tree and beheading thing...
unlike other countries.


19 posted on 03/29/2012 8:44:08 PM PDT by Freddd (No PA Engineers)
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To: Razzz42

apples VS oranges....our prisoners are worthless trash that prey upon other folks. In most of those other countries, a large number of prisoners are political prisoners.....if you don’t like Castro, and say so, chances are that you are going to jail.....not so here...good thing too, we don’t have 310,000,000 cells available.


20 posted on 03/29/2012 8:52:41 PM PDT by terycarl (lurking, but well informed)
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To: JerseyHighlander

Which studies would that be?


21 posted on 03/29/2012 9:05:24 PM PDT by Eagles6
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To: Razzz42

If you don’t break the law, your chances of being incarcerated are reduced considerably.


22 posted on 03/29/2012 9:43:21 PM PDT by wjcsux ("In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." - George Orwell)
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To: Eagles6

Innocence Project (Cardozo School of Law in New York)

Professor John Donohue of Yale University’s School of Law study on Ct. Death penalty cases.

A Broken System:
Error Rates in Capital Cases, 1973-1995
James S. Liebman
http://www2.law.columbia.edu/instructionalservices/liebman/

For decades, for every 8 death row inmates executed, 1 innocent man on death row was executed, and one innocent man on death row was exonerated before death.

That is not justice, and as states are cutting back on budgets for public defenders in this recession, miscarriage of justice is getting worse in some states again.

Pres. G.W.Bush for all his faults, did sign a bill during his five year “what’s a veto pen look like?” phase, that requires all death row inmates to have DNA evidence tested against DNA samples.


23 posted on 03/29/2012 9:43:55 PM PDT by JerseyHighlander
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To: BenLurkin

Human life is cheap in many places, people locked up here would be executed elsewhere or just die in the street. USA prisoners would get fat on their free TV if it wasn’t for their exercise rooms.

Maybe if crime was riskier with more punishment the USA would not have so many prisoners. You could reduce the deficit by putting some on Pay-per-View. A new reality show on the mass hypnosis device.


24 posted on 03/29/2012 9:52:23 PM PDT by wrencher
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To: wjcsux
"If you don’t break the law, your chances of being incarcerated are reduced considerably."

I'm really not trying to be a jerk here but the only possible answer to your statement would be a very ironic "sieg heil".

There is no moral imperative to obey stupid laws. There is a moral imperative do disobey evil laws.

25 posted on 03/29/2012 9:52:40 PM PDT by FreeFromWhat
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To: Zuben Elgenubi

Your math confuses me too. Do you mean 25% of the 26 year olds are locked up? What about the 25 or 27 year olds?


26 posted on 03/29/2012 9:54:02 PM PDT by wrencher
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To: Zuben Elgenubi
If you are a male, 26 years of age, you have a one in four chance of incarceration on any given day.

While your overall point is a valid one, this statement is simply not true.

27 posted on 03/29/2012 9:56:14 PM PDT by FreeFromWhat
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To: Razzz42

Questions:

What percentage of the prison population is
White
Hispanic
Black
Life without parole
non violent
Drug possession

Now take all non violent put an ankle bracelet on them charge them a fee and send them home where they can go to and from work to home and that’s it. Let a computer monitor their where abouts every five minutes.

next all non citizens deliver them to law enforcement in their native country. Let their own country pay for their incarceration.

Now for those with life without parole we find a piece of land five miles on a side no people on that land and put up a triple fence, middle fence electrified, with cameras, motion sensors, vibration sensors. Enough guards to keep the fence under observation with no guards inside the fence. Hand the felon a pack with garden seeds and hand tools for working the soil and put them through the fence where they can take care of them selves. No fly zone above the place with automatic shoot down.

Then dismantle the war on poverty. That is the biggest single factor among minorities breaking up families and putting young men in prison.

The above should save this nation at least half the current cost of our prison system and leave the prison population at or below 10% of what it was.


28 posted on 03/29/2012 10:13:26 PM PDT by W. W. SMITH (Obama is Romney lite)
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To: JerseyHighlander

“For decades, for every 8 death row inmates executed, 1 innocent man on death row was executed,”
Let’s narrow it down to post Furman. Do you have named and cases?


29 posted on 03/29/2012 10:20:11 PM PDT by Eagles6
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To: Eagles6

Google it. every known case is documented on dozens of prominent websites devoted to the matter.

I’m not going to have a pedantic debate on FR about it, you can read up on your own time and come to your own consideration on the current system.


30 posted on 03/29/2012 10:26:03 PM PDT by JerseyHighlander
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To: JerseyHighlander

I already have. We need more prisons , longer sentences and speedier executions.


31 posted on 03/29/2012 10:30:07 PM PDT by Eagles6
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To: Eagles6

Number of prisoners increased 20% between 2000 and 2010, yet the crime rate didn’t drop.

If between 2010 and 2020 the population again increases by 20%, and another 1.4M additional prisoners are incarcerated, would you believe we’ll make a satisfactory dent in your crime rate?


32 posted on 03/29/2012 10:36:15 PM PDT by JerseyHighlander
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To: Razzz42

soetoro should be in one of them.


33 posted on 03/29/2012 10:57:51 PM PDT by onedoug
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To: JerseyHighlander

Nope. We need more prisons, streamlined death penalty system, seal the borders, no early release, deport all illegals when their sentence is finished and make it a capital crime to red get reenter the US. Deport all illegals. Then maybe we’ll get a handle on it.


34 posted on 03/31/2012 10:34:05 AM PDT by Eagles6
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To: Jonty30
I’m not talking about individuals who have harmed others, but the ones we incarcerate for relatively minor crimes as to whether that’s the best way to deal with them.

There was an article a few months back talking about the myriad "paperwork" crimes that could land you in prison. I don't recall all the cases profiled but the article did mention a flower dealer serving a short 4-5 month sentence for not having the proper forms on orchids he was selling. He didn't even know he had broken the law.

Now a 4-5 month sentence may not sound like a lot of time but I think for most of us, four months behind bars would cost us our jobs, deplete our savings and lose our homes. We now live in a country with more laws on the books than we can even comprehend and almost all of them carry a potential prison sentence for violating, something the "law and order" types around here might want to consider.

35 posted on 03/31/2012 10:49:15 AM PDT by Drew68
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To: Drew68

Most of us are one paycheque from impoverishment, so a 4-5 month jail sentence would definitely destroy our lives.

When I had built up about 500 dollars worth of traffic fines, I went to make arrangements to pay the fines and they wanted me to pay the whole thing at once. Being a lower income, at the time, I couldn’t pay it. I was willing to make monthly payments until I got it squared, but they wanted me to pay the whole thing at once or go to jail, a one month stay at a holding cell. Fortunately I managed to get it squared.

I don’t think many people here realize just how easy it is for those on the margins of society to find themselves on the outside of society for doing the exact same things, that you and I could do and merely be inconvenienced by paying a fine or getting house arrest.


36 posted on 03/31/2012 11:17:11 AM PDT by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults.)
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