Latinos now make up 40 percent of the estimated 200,000 prisoners in federal penitentiaries, triple their share of the total U.S. adult population and disproportionate to their representation in state and local jails (19 percent and 16 percent, respectively). Nearly half of the Latino population in federal prisons are immigrants, with 81 percent sentenced for entering or residing in the nation without authorization.It seems to me that we're incarcerating tens of thousands of immigrants who don't pose a threat to the community. These people shouldn't be behind bars at all.
On the Heavy Sounds and the Abstract Truth blog the blame is placed squarely on the War on Terror.
The “war on terror” is endlessly peddled by the American political establishment as a crusade for freedom and liberty around the world. Yet, as the latest prison figures again demonstrate, far from representing freedom, justice and democracy, the United States is notorious for its propensity to jail its own population.He quotes some impressive Census Bureau data and concludes with the irrefutable: "No other country in the world comes close to these numbers."
In addition to the increases due to immigration and terror laws, we mustn't forget the "war on drugs." We've often talked about the futility of locking up marijuana users like they do in Texas and Louisiana. Some people go even further and believe more drugs than just pot should be legalized. On the Law Enforcement Against Prohibition site they have some ideas about that.
Recently, according to the BBC, in the UK they've made an attempt to address their problem.
The Ministry of Justice said 2,795 criminals in England and Wales were freed up to 18 days before the half-way point of their sentence in December.
An MoJ spokesman said the government was working "extremely hard" to create extra prison capacity.So far 47,515 inmates have been let out early under the End of Custody Licence programme.
They include nearly 10,000 violent offenders and more than 4,200 burglars.
The article goes on to explain how many of these people have violated the terms of their release and how many others have become fugitives again. Overall, it didn't sound like an example of success.
On the Preaching to the Choir site, S. provides a concise and chilling analysis taken from the MSNBC report.
1 of every 31 US adults is incarcerated. Georgia has the highest incarceration rate, at 1 in every 13 adults. (New Hampshire has the lowest, at 1 in 88.)How's that for a bleak picture? What's to be done about this? The British don't seem to know. What would you do? I've already outlined my three-point plan here.
1 in every 11 black adults is under some form of correctional supervision. cite
What's your opinion?