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  1. #1
    Wandering Man's Avatar
    Wandering Man is offline GM HGF Gold Member
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    1% of us in Prison

    Between Prison and Autism (another form of imprisonment?), I think we've accounted for 1.7% of the population.

    Report: More than 1 in every 100 Americans behind bars

    Associated Press
    Originally published 09:00 p.m., February 28, 2008
    Updated 09:00 p.m., February 28, 2008



    For the first time in history, more than one in every 100 American adults is in jail or prison, according to a new report tracking the surge in inmate population and urging states to rein in corrections costs with alternative sentencing programs.

    The report, released Thursday by the Pew Center on the States, said the 50 states spent more than $49 billion on corrections last year, up from less than $11 billion 20 years earlier. The rate of increase for prison costs was six times greater than for higher education spending, the report said.

    Using updated state-by-state data, the report said 2,319,258 adults were held in U.S. prisons or jails at the start of 2008 one out of every 99.1 adults, and more than any other country in the world.

    The steadily growing inmate population "is saddling cash-strapped states with soaring costs they can ill afford and failing to have a clear impact either on recidivism or overall crime," said the report.

    Susan Urahn, managing director of the Pew Center on the States, said budget woes are prompting officials in many states to consider new, cost-saving corrections policies that might have been shunned in the recent past for fear of appearing soft in crime.

    "We're seeing more and more states being creative because of tight budgets," she said in an interview. "They want to be tough on crime, they want to be a law-and-order state but they also want to save money, and they want to be effective."

    The report cited Kansas and Texas as states which have acted decisively to slow the growth of their inmate population. Their actions include greater use of community supervision for low-risk offenders and employing sanctions other than reimprisonment for ex-offenders who commit technical violations of parole and probation rules.

    "The new approach, born of bipartisan leadership, is allowing the two states to ensure they have enough prison beds for violent offenders while helping less dangerous lawbreakers become productive, taxpaying citizens," the report said.

    While many state governments have shown bipartisan interest in curbing prison growth, there also are persistent calls to proceed cautiously.

    "We need to be smarter," said David Muhlhausen, a criminal justice expert with the conservative Heritage Foundation. "We're not incarcerating all the people who commit serious crimes but we're also probably incarcerating people who don't need to be."

    According to the report, the inmate population increased last year in 36 states and the federal prison system.

    The largest percentage increase 12 percent was in Kentucky, where Gov. Steve Beshear highlighted the cost of corrections in his budget speech last month. He noted that the state's crime rate had increased only about 3 percent in the past 30 years, while the state's inmate population has increased by 600 percent.

    The Pew report was compiled by the Center on the State's Public Safety Performance Project, which is working directly with 13 states on developing programs to divert offenders from prison without jeopardizing public safety.
    "For all the money spent on corrections today, there hasn't been a clear and convincing return for public safety," said the project's director, Adam Gelb. "More and more states are beginning to rethink their reliance on prisons for lower-level offenders and finding strategies that are tough on crime without being so tough on taxpayers."

    The report said prison growth and higher incarceration rates do not reflect a parallel increase in crime or in the nation's overall population. Instead, it said, more people are behind bars mainly because of tough sentencing measures, such as "three-strikes" laws, that result in longer prison stays.

    "For some groups, the incarceration numbers are especially startling," the report said. "While one in 30 men between the ages of 20 and 34 is behind bars, for black males in that age group the figure is one in nine."

    The nationwide figures, as of Jan. 1, include 1,596,127 people in state and federal prisons and 723,131 in local jails a total 2,319,258 out of almost 230 million American adults.

    The report said the United States is the world's incarceration leader, far ahead of more populous China with 1.5 million people behind bars. It said the U.S. also is the leader in inmates per capita (750 per 100,000 people), ahead of Russia (628 per 100,000) and other former Soviet bloc nations which make up the rest of the Top 10.
    http://www.caller.com/news/2008/feb/...s-behind-bars/

    That means that 88 of us on the forum could be either in prison or autistic.

    WM
    Never argue with drunks or crazy people.

  2. #2
    Mike Barham's Avatar
    Mike Barham is offline Senior Member
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    We have become jail-happy in America. People get locked up for possessing marijuana and committing white-collar crimes, while violent offenders get released early. It's bizarre, but I guess some of it reflects the deep neo-Puritan streak in America.

    Meanwhile, we keep churning out new laws to make more and more things criminal.

    "The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws." - Ayn Rand
    Last edited by Mike Barham; 02-29-2008 at 09:59 AM.
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  3. #3
    Todd is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wandering Man View Post
    Between Prison and Autism (another form of imprisonment?), I think we've accounted for 1.7% of the population.

    Report: More than 1 in every 100 Americans behind bars



    http://www.caller.com/news/2008/feb/...s-behind-bars/

    That means that 88 of us on the forum could be either in prison or autistic.

    WM
    Well, I'm not in jail, so I must have Autism. Or at least ADD. Now what was I doing again?

  4. #4
    submoa is offline Member
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    The death penalty combined with summary execution is useful. Some crimes just shouldn't be worthy of appeal. If you get caught with your DNA inside a 9 year old girl, the world has no use for you.

  5. #5
    sirgknight is offline Junior Member
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    Well, I work in a state prison and I can tell you that it is time for the pendulum to swing the other way. We have become too liberal, too politically correct, too psychological and too scared of lawsuits to adequately manage the inmate population. Our inmates have entirely too many amenities and not enough discipline, education or work-related activities. If prison were really prison, then we wouldn't have near as many repeat offenders taking up bed space that should be for some of those thousands waiting in county jails to come into the state system. Our bleeding heart liberals have practically destroyed our (the correctional system) ability to properly manage the disobedient, radical and disrespectful inmate. We don't need to return to the days of being cruel, but we still a means by which we can give a real attitude adjustment for unacceptable behavior. Our lawmakers need to make the punishment suitable to the crime. IMHO anyone who commits any kind of aggravated crime, whether it be armed robbery, rape, murder, child molestation, assault, etc. should get "LIFE". We need to have the gumption to say "enough is enough' - either you live by the rules or you are removed from the society. It's pretty bad when a drug dealer gets more time than a murderer. We need to get our priorities straightened out. Sure, drugs are dangerous and they have a rippling affect on a lot of people, but we need to find a different kind of punishment besides hard beds. We have inmated coming back into the sytem with a mere technical parole violation. This is stupid. It scares me to see what our correctional system has turned into and continues to evolve into a system of "warehousing humans".

  6. #6
    Baldy's Avatar
    Baldy is offline Senior Member
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by sirgknight View Post
    Well, I work in a state prison and I can tell you that it is time for the pendulum to swing the other way. We have become too liberal, too politically correct, too psychological and too scared of lawsuits to adequately manage the inmate population. Our inmates have entirely too many amenities and not enough discipline, education or work-related activities. If prison were really prison, then we wouldn't have near as many repeat offenders taking up bed space that should be for some of those thousands waiting in county jails to come into the state system. Our bleeding heart liberals have practically destroyed our (the correctional system) ability to properly manage the disobedient, radical and disrespectful inmate. We don't need to return to the days of being cruel, but we still a means by which we can give a real attitude adjustment for unacceptable behavior. Our lawmakers need to make the punishment suitable to the crime. IMHO anyone who commits any kind of aggravated crime, whether it be armed robbery, rape, murder, child molestation, assault, etc. should get "LIFE". We need to have the gumption to say "enough is enough' - either you live by the rules or you are removed from the society. It's pretty bad when a drug dealer gets more time than a murderer. We need to get our priorities straightened out. Sure, drugs are dangerous and they have a rippling affect on a lot of people, but we need to find a different kind of punishment besides hard beds. We have inmated coming back into the sytem with a mere technical parole violation. This is stupid. It scares me to see what our correctional system has turned into and continues to evolve into a system of "warehousing humans".
    Very good read from a man who knows.

  7. #7
    Charlie's Avatar
    Charlie is offline Senior Member
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    I have a real problem with the name "Texas Dept. of Corrections". I always wondered what they corrected. I tend to agree with sirgnight and would carry the blame a little further into the court system and straight to the JUDGES!!! What small spectrum of what I have observed of the court system in Texas borders on the ridiculous most of the time. Unfortunely it also appears common sense in sentencing and assessing consequences (from counseling to confinement and more) is long gone in most cases. Consistency does not exist. Judges have waaay to much dscretionary power. A three person panel would be much more efficient (especially if that was the only job they had!). Are there states that have any success with their justice systems? At this point it appears there are no answers, only opinions. Oh well........

  8. #8
    john doe. is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by sirgknight View Post
    Well, I work in a state prison and I can tell you that it is time for the pendulum to swing the other way. We have become too liberal, too politically correct, too psychological and too scared of lawsuits to adequately manage the inmate population. Our inmates have entirely too many amenities and not enough discipline, education or work-related activities. If prison were really prison, then we wouldn't have near as many repeat offenders taking up bed space that should be for some of those thousands waiting in county jails to come into the state system. Our bleeding heart liberals have practically destroyed our (the correctional system) ability to properly manage the disobedient, radical and disrespectful inmate. We don't need to return to the days of being cruel, but we still a means by which we can give a real attitude adjustment for unacceptable behavior. Our lawmakers need to make the punishment suitable to the crime. IMHO anyone who commits any kind of aggravated crime, whether it be armed robbery, rape, murder, child molestation, assault, etc. should get "LIFE". We need to have the gumption to say "enough is enough' - either you live by the rules or you are removed from the society. It's pretty bad when a drug dealer gets more time than a murderer. We need to get our priorities straightened out. Sure, drugs are dangerous and they have a rippling affect on a lot of people, but we need to find a different kind of punishment besides hard beds. We have inmated coming back into the sytem with a mere technical parole violation. This is stupid. It scares me to see what our correctional system has turned into and continues to evolve into a system of "warehousing humans".
    Nice post. One of my brothers works in an Indiana prison. He says the same things. He is lucky in that they allow him to bring his Christianity to work and talk to prisoners about it.

    Weather you believe in God or not one must admit that having good Christian morals would only benefit society. As long as those Christians did as they should.

  9. #9
    Mike Barham's Avatar
    Mike Barham is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by tnoisaw View Post
    Weather you believe in God or not one must admit that having good Christian morals would only benefit society. As long as those Christians did as they should.
    I'm not so sure about that. Perhaps it depends on which brand of Christianity we're talking about, but I am not sure asking people to live at odds with human nature is such a great idea. Anyway, you can read the Sermon on the Mount as a defense of socialist ideas...and that's certainly not a society I'd want to live in.

    Don't get me wrong - I know many, many Christians who are very outstanding people, but I manage to live a good moral life without the compass of religion. Still, as Jeff Cooper wrote, "Seven in ten people need moral guidance from without." I'm just not sure the Christian version of morality is the correct one.

    If I had to pick one of the "big three" religions upon which to base a society, I think I would choose Judaism. Not that building a society on religion would be my first or even third choice.
    Employed by Galco Gunleather - www.galcogunleather.com / Veteran OEF VIII

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