Friday, February 29, 2008

One in 100 Adult Americans Currently Behind Bars

According to a report released this week by the Pew Center on the States, one out of every 100 U.S. adults is currently in jail, with Blacks and Hispanics facing significantly higher incarceration rates than Whites.

"... current prison growth is not driven primarily by a parallel increase in crime, or a corresponding surge in the population at large. Rather, it flows principally from a wave of policy choices that are sending more lawbreakers to prison and, through popular 'three-strikes' measures and other sentencing enhancements, keeping them there longer. Overlaying that picture in some states has been the habitual use of prison stays to punish those who break rules governing their probation or parole."
Over a 20-year period, the study found that prison expenditures have skyrocketed, as "inflation-adjusted general fund spending on corrections rose 127 percent while higher education expenditures rose just 21 percent".

More coverage:

For the sake of comparison, on November 21, 2007, I published a post entitled Canadian Rate of Incarceration Increases that described the findings of a Statistics Canada report covering 2005/2006:

"The rate moved from 107 to 110 prisoners per 100,000 population."

" 'Canada's incarceration rate tends to be higher than most western European countries, yet far lower than that of the United States. For instance, Sweden posted an incarceration rate of 82 and France a rate of 85 per 100,000 population in 2005/2006. By comparison, the incarceration rate in England and Wales was 148, and in the United States the adult rate stood at 738 (the United States excludes youth from its rate)'. "

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 2:07 pm


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