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  #1  
Old 05-28-2004, 11:10 AM
GermanStar's Avatar
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Report: 1 of Every 75 U.S. Men in Prison

WASHINGTON (AP) -- America's inmate population grew by 2.9 percent last year, to almost 2.1 million people, with one of every 75 men living in prison or jail.

The inmate population continued its rise despite a fall in the crime rate and many states' efforts to reduce some sentences, especially for low-level drug offenders.

The report issued Thursday by the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics attributes much of the increase to get-tough policies enacted during the 1980s and '90s, such as mandatory drug sentences, "three-strikes-and-you're-out" laws for repeat offenders, and "truth-in-sentencing" laws that restrict early releases.

Whether that's good or bad depends on who is asked.

"The prison system just grows like a weed in the yard," said Vincent Schiraldi, executive director of the Justice Policy Institute, which pushes for a more lenient system.

Without reforms, he said, prison populations will continue to grow "almost as if they are on autopilot, regardless of their high costs and disappointing crime-control impact."

But Attorney General John Ashcroft said the report shows the success of efforts to take hard-core criminals off the streets.

"It is no accident that violent crime is at a 30-year low while prison population is up," Ashcroft said. "Violent and recidivist criminals are getting tough sentences while law-abiding Americans are enjoying unprecedented safety."

There were 715 inmates for every 100,000 U.S. residents at midyear in 2003, up from 703 a year earlier, the report found.

The nation's incarceration rate tops the world, according to The Sentencing Project, another group that promotes alternatives to prison. That compares with a rate of 169 per 100,000 residents in Mexico, 116 in Canada and 143 for England and Wales.

Russia's prison population, which once rivaled the United States', has dropped to 584 per 100,000 because of prisoner amnesties in recent years, the group said.

The U.S. inmate population in 2003 grew at its fastest pace in four years. The number of inmates increased 1.8 percent in state prisons, 7.1 percent in federal prisons and 3.9 percent in local jails.

In 2003, 68 percent of prison and jail inmates were members of racial or ethnic minorities, the government said. An estimated 12 percent of all black men in their 20s were in jails or prisons, as were 3.7 percent of Hispanic men and 1.6 percent of white men in that age group, according to the report.

The report also said:

-The number of women in state and federal prisons grew by 5 percent, compared to a 2.7 percent increase for men. Still, men greatly outnumber women: 1.36 million to 100,102.

-Local jails held 691,301 inmates.

-The inmate population in 10 states increased at least 5 percent. Some of the smallest state prison systems saw the largest increase: Vermont's grew by 12.2 percent, Minnesota was up 9.4 percent and Maine 9.1 percent.

-Only nine states logged a decrease in prison population, led by Rhode Island with a 3.4 percent drop; Arkansas, 2.2 percent; and Montana, 2.1 percent.
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Old 05-28-2004, 12:03 PM
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That’s the end result of using prison like a garbage can....
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Old 05-28-2004, 12:14 PM
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Might just be another way of measuring afulenza’s affect on us. Narwhal – is “Dodd and Barker” or Harold Lamy still active in NOLA?
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Old 05-28-2004, 05:58 PM
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Why are prison populations growing at such a rate? Is it massive increases in crime? Is it stricter sentences, like third-strike laws? If it's increases in crime, why?

Instead of simply building bigger/more prisons, shouldn't we be concerned about decreasing the number of criminals and the amount of crime?
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Old 05-28-2004, 06:42 PM
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I read somewhere that since the establishment of the US penal system, it took the us 123 years to reach a million inmates per annum. It only took another 10 years to reach 2 million. This, in the wealthiest, most powerful nation the world has ever known. It's a f@#king travesty, that doesn't receive near the critical attention it should. And, with the onset of privatized prisons, 3-strikes laws, and the war on drugs fiasco, I don't see an end to the madness. History books will not look kindly on our epoch, if they exist at all.
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Old 05-28-2004, 08:01 PM
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In an article recently, The criminally insane not exactly couch talk if we were to remove mentally ill people from prison, in most states you’d cut the population down by about 16%. Some states have a “special offenders” prison reserved for criminally insane. I don’t know what % of the general prison population are drug users and small time drug sales arrests are, but you’d think there are better solutions – work release, community service, recompensaton should all be a part.

But of course, in the USA, the greatest country on earth, we use prison like a cross between a garbage dump and community welfare center. The prison system is another world class example of government powered institution that has taken on a life of it’s own, funded by taxes and perpetuated by indifference.
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Old 05-28-2004, 08:04 PM
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Quote:
...funded by taxes and perpetuated by indifference
...damn, I love that line.
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  #8  
Old 05-28-2004, 08:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Zeitgeist
...damn, I love that line.
Me too. Brilliant. As a lover of words and phrases, I am in awe.
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  #9  
Old 05-29-2004, 07:25 PM
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Re: Legalize it.....

Quote:
Originally posted by narwhal
.....don't criticize it.....

I read Wm. F. Buckley's SAILING BOOKS with great interest, but of course, am familiar with some of his political leanings as well. I would draw the line at marijuana (I think he's ok with cocaine, ect....), but how could this not help the prison situation, the deficit, and my hangovers?
I'm with you on that Narwhal. The only people that should fear pot-heads are those standing between a doper and his fridge.

B
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Old 05-31-2004, 01:48 AM
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When the mafia takes over control or builds a new restaurant they need and expect customers........

William Rogers.........
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  #11  
Old 05-31-2004, 03:17 AM
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Releasing non-violent drug offenders, or at least those who are only there for the ridiculous charge of "possession", would alleviate a HUGE part of this problem.

Mike
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  #12  
Old 05-31-2004, 04:02 PM
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Wow ~thanks~ guys! I practiced. Was the delivery okay? Dooooo you think I rushed it, maybe just a little?

Seriously, when in the company of so many language masters, it is hard to not come up with a good one on occasion. I'm truly touched by the comments!

And kind of back to the topic I read that 1 in 6 folks are obese. So we have almost 12 of 75 people with serious problems. Maybe we could put the obese folks in jail, too and have a state funded fat farm? What could hurt?
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Old 05-31-2004, 05:35 PM
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I just don't get the "war on drugs." Waging war on the supply of ANYTHING has never worked. Did we learn NOTHING from the US prohibition of the pre WW-2 era? It failed miserably. We had none of that garbage in Canada, and we also avoided all the violence and "war" between police and the people.

Are the users of drugs (I mean hard drugs, the kind that can ruin your life) primarily middle and upper middle class people? Nope. Mostly people that have nothing to lose anyway. Sheesh.

Again, a government focused on symptoms and not on diseases. If you don't want the citizenry on drugs, find out why they take them, and solve THAT problem. Does putting them in jail solve the problem? Do those drug offenders serve their ridiculouly long sentences and then come out of prison to become productive members of the community? Right... What about the idea that we need to keep them out of the community, and the prison term is for the protection of society? Well, not sure about you folks, but I have a suspicion that drinking alcohol is probably causing more carnage in our nations than just about anything else. Hypocrisy at work.

It all boils down to an agenda-driven system where law enforcement justifies bigger budgets for fancier guns, planes, etc. through the war on everything. Goverments use "war on this or that" to deflect examination of their fiscal and social records.

The current legal system in the US (and growing in Canada) leads me to believe that instead of building a nation, we're actually trying to build one big prison.
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  #14  
Old 05-31-2004, 05:42 PM
MedMech
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Re: Re: Legalize it.....

Quote:
Originally posted by Botnst
I'm with you on that Narwhal. The only people that should fear pot-heads are those standing between a doper and his fridge.

B
LOL

and agree.
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  #15  
Old 05-31-2004, 06:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by blackmercedes
I just don't get the "war on drugs." Waging war on the supply of ANYTHING has never worked. Did we learn NOTHING from the US prohibition of the pre WW-2 era? It failed miserably. We had none of that garbage in Canada, and we also avoided all the violence and "war" between police and the people.

Are the users of drugs (I mean hard drugs, the kind that can ruin your life) primarily middle and upper middle class people? Nope. Mostly people that have nothing to lose anyway. Sheesh.

Again, a government focused on symptoms and not on diseases. If you don't want the citizenry on drugs, find out why they take them, and solve THAT problem. Does putting them in jail solve the problem? Do those drug offenders serve their ridiculouly long sentences and then come out of prison to become productive members of the community? Right... What about the idea that we need to keep them out of the community, and the prison term is for the protection of society? Well, not sure about you folks, but I have a suspicion that drinking alcohol is probably causing more carnage in our nations than just about anything else. Hypocrisy at work.

It all boils down to an agenda-driven system where law enforcement justifies bigger budgets for fancier guns, planes, etc. through the war on everything. Goverments use "war on this or that" to deflect examination of their fiscal and social records.

The current legal system in the US (and growing in Canada) leads me to believe that instead of building a nation, we're actually trying to build one big prison.
Everybody take a good, long look! Blackmercedes and I actually AGREE 100% on something! Doesn't happen very often, enjoy it while you can!

Mike
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1979 300 SD
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1982 300D-gone---sold to a buddy
_____
1985 300TD
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1994 E320
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