US Prison Population at Record High

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NDPP
US Prison Population at Record High

US Prison Population at Record High

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2009/dec2009/pris-d10.shtml

"...by far the highest rate in the world.."

DaveW

from memory I thought the Russian rate was now higher;

it is high, but trails U.S. :

http://www.kcl.ac.uk/depsta/law/research/icps/downloads/world-prison-pop-seventh.pdf

 

surprising is the high level of incarceration throughout the Caribbean, St Kitts, Virgin Islands, etc., including Cuba

 

 

Snert Snert's picture

Regarding Cuba, it seems that [url=http://www.rabble.ca/babble/international-news-and-politics/two-years-pr... complaining of hunger [/url] is a crime there. That's gotta fill a few prisons.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Quote:
This growth becomes more dramatic when the U.S. incarceration rate is compared to that of other nations, as chart 4 demonstrates. The United States accounts for 5 percent of the world's population, and almost a quarter of the world's prisoners. It is number one with the proverbial bullet when it comes to locking up its own people. No thug dictator, no psychopathic madman, anywhere in the world can touch the United States in this department.

That includes the "repressive" regime in Cuba. Ha ha. Try again, hoser.

The penal state in an age of crisis.

Snert Snert's picture

I didn't say they were worse than the U.S.  Seems to me that both are pretty fucked up.  Wouldn't you agree?

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

I'd agree that the the thread is about the record high prison population in the USA, and how no other country in the world comes close.I don't see Cuba mentioned there, though.

Go ahead and start your own thread about those mean, mean Cubans if you like. I'm sure you'll get plenty of bites. Ha ha. A more reactionary or conservative web site might give you more satisfaction in that regard, though.

Snert Snert's picture

It's OK to speak your mind.  Castro can't hear you.  We're allowed to speak our minds in Canada.

C'mon.  Don't hide.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Ha ha. Why don't you take your own advice and lecture all us babblers on the virtues of having over 2 million people in US jails? About executing disabled people who cannot distinguish right from wrong? About torturing people in Git-mo and elsewhere?

Yes, tell us all about the virtues of capital punishment, of private prisons, of faith-based prisons and other reactionary atrocities. Babblers REALLY what to know about the benefits of all this right wing shit. Ooh Rah!

Snert Snert's picture

I'm not endorsing any of those things.  As I said, I think the U.S. prison system is pretty fucked up.  I just wondered whether you thought that imprisoning someone for saying they're hungry is also fucked up.  Evidently you either have no opinion on the matter, or you lack the backbone to admit that it's fucked up too.  I think you've traded your principle for some misguided solidarity.  As I said, Castro can't hear you.  You won't be betraying the revolution by saying that's fucked up.

Take a look at the article.  Yes, the U.S. places first in a race to the bottom, with an incarceration rate about seven times that of Canada.  But look at the socialist paradise of Cuba.  Why is their incarceration rate over four times Canada's, and nearly two thirds of the U.S.? 

Doesn't that strike you as odd?  The socialist paradise imprisoning 400% as many prisoners as our little Kapitalist hell-hole? 

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Go ahead and start that thread on Cuba. And put your sources there as well, that's a good little right winger.

Snert Snert's picture

Given that we don't like unnecessary thread proliferation, I think it's entirely reasonable, in a thread about incarceration rates in one country, to discuss and compare incarceration rates in others. 

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Yea, OK. When you're ready to discuss the topic in the title of the thread, let me know, eh? Snort.

kropotkin1951

Snert wrote:

Regarding Cuba, it seems that [url=http://www.rabble.ca/babble/international-news-and-politics/two-years-pr... complaining of hunger [/url] is a crime there. That's gotta fill a few prisons.

 

He was arrested for being drunk and disorderly and disrupting tourists.  It'll get you arrested in Vancouver and quite possibly tasered.

Sineed

Never mind Cuba; the scariest thing about the Usian incarceration rate is the implications for Canada. Our current government's mimicry of the reasons for that high rate: the war on drugs, and the mandatory minimum sentencing, is heading us in the same direction.

Private jails in Canada have been thoroughly discredited:

http://www.prisonjustice.ca/starkravenarticles/CNCC_public_1106.html

However, the Harper government is relying on advice from people like former Ontario Corrections minister Rob Sampson, who brought us the disastrous private prison in Penetang.  

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:

He was arrested for being drunk and disorderly and disrupting tourists.  It'll get you arrested in Vancouver and quite possibly tasered.

 

It might get you a warning or a ride home. It *might* get you arrested.

 

But how many years in prison do you think you'd get for being soused in public in Canada? I'm going to say "none". I'm also going to suggest that he's not the first person in Cuba to drink some rum and get loud, and that maybe embarrassing the government might be why what would be a trivial offense almost anywhere outside of Saudi Arabia was worth a couple of years to this guy.

Fidel

[url=http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2008/12/10/us-world-s-leading-jailer-new-numb... Gulag State Largest Jailer nation in World[/url] HRW

Largest total prison population and highest incarceration rates

Another four or five million Americans are embroiled in the punitive legal system in one way or another through parole or probation, or short-term stays in temporary jails.

Sineed

NoDifferencePartyPooper wrote:

US Prison Population at Record High

Suggested alternate thread title: "Land of the free?"

NDPP

The US Prison Industrial complex is now a permanent and very profitable feature of the US economy. Like all such things, it makes sense to expect its growth and expansion here too.

I think prisons and who imprisons who has always been of  importance. It appears that prison building - globally, locally (maybe even personally)  is a growth industry. While a prison house of nations is constructed by NATO, OBUSHA, Harper et al internationally - imprisoning as population management (especially for poor people and Indigenous) will likely see a surge domestically as well.

I don't know if they lock up people in Cuba for speaking of hunger. It may be.  I do know that my own contacts there tell me hunger is a big problem and that the PTB there suppress the truth. I understand perfectly well why friends of Cuba here would wish as I do that this wasn't true but I believe it is.

However, in terms of a list of worst and dangerous offenders I would put Cuba way down towards the bottom of any such list.

Guantanamo, Bagram, Abu Ghraib,  and our own domestic prison systems. These are the places we should start.

I started this thread and see no reason why it can't encompass the subject of prisons in general.

 

 

Fidel

NoDifferencePartyPooper wrote:
However, in terms of a list of worst and dangerous offenders I would put Cuba way down towards the bottom of any such list.

The largest threat to human rights on the island of Cuba is the US Naval base for torture and other human rights abuses at Guantanamo Bay. The gringos are responsible for the largest incarcerated population in the world not only in America, but they own the largest prisoner population on the island of Cuba, too. Hawks in the US are completely full of shit when it comes to human rights and democracy.

kropotkin1951

Snert wrote:

It might get you a warning or a ride home. It *might* get you arrested.

But how many years in prison do you think you'd get for being soused in public in Canada? I'm going to say "none". I'm also going to suggest that he's not the first person in Cuba to drink some rum and get loud, and that maybe embarrassing the government might be why what would be a trivial offence almost anywhere outside of Saudi Arabia was worth a couple of years to this guy.

There is a very good chance that a person from a First Nations would face very serious repercussions for being drunk and disorderly in the presence of high end tourists. But you are right just like in Frank Paul's case they might not arrest him but instead merely subject him to abuse and potentially fatal weather.  Mind you with Frank Paul we have a new law that allows for incarceration for mental illness. This is a great boon to our security and takes a page right out of the Soviet era.

 

http://www.turtleisland.org/news/frankpaul.htm

 

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture
Snert Snert's picture

Hands up, all "Yanqui lovers"!

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

What? You still here? Have another bite.

Fidel

[url=http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/New_World_Order/First_World_Order_BNWO... back in 1992:[/url]

 

Quote:
The United States not only has the highest rate of imprisonment of any nation in the world, it has the most racially biased prison system. One of four black males is in the criminal justice system-in jail, on trial, awaiting trial or on parole. South Africa's incarceration rate for blacks is 729 per 100,000. The U.S. rate is 3,109. If present trends continue, shortly after the middle of the next century one-half of all U.S. citizens will be in jail!

 

Just imprison everyone!

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Well, since prison, slave, and indentured labour were critical in the development of capitalism, it just may be that the restoration of great masses of forced labour is a way to preserve this monstrous system. Ain't capitalism grand?

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:

What? You still here? Have another bite.

 

Another bite of what? Don't be shy. What should I have a bite of?

Fidel

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2011/01/07/mississippi-kidney007.html]Sisters freed on kidney donation promise[/url] 16 years for an armed robbery that netted them between $11 and $200 dollars

CBC.ca wrote:
The sisters' lawyer, Chokwe Lumumba, said the women hope to get government-funded Medicaid health insurance in Florida, and begin the needed steps to make the transplant happen.

God help them.

[url=Obama">http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/08/us/politics/08gitmo.html?partner=rss&e... signs bill, stops Gitmo closure[/url] They need Gitmo because Americans can't handle the truth about freedom, liberty, 9/11 etc.

Maysie Maysie's picture

Jebus cripes. 

Arriving late to the party.

Snert you're trolling. Stay out of this thread and stop trolling babble. Yes that's a warning.

N.Beltov, stop the personal attacks and name-calling. 

 

al-Qa'bong

I believe they stopped over a year ago.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Bill Maher had a panel on his show in December talking about this, and the guy from California said if pot was legalized, the prison population would shrink by about half - but prisons are a huge US industry, and they want more inmates, not less.  And, get this - on the show, they said US prison lobbyists are fighting against legalization of pot. Insane. Frown

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

A foreshadowing of Canada's future...

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I'll be dead by then, God willing.

Sineed

Fidel wrote:

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2011/01/07/mississippi-kidney007.html]Sisters freed on kidney donation promise[/url] 16 years for an armed robbery that netted them between $11 and $200 dollars

CBC.ca wrote:
The sisters' lawyer, Chokwe Lumumba, said the women hope to get government-funded Medicaid health insurance in Florida, and begin the needed steps to make the transplant happen.

I saw this story too, Fidel.  Basically, it's costing the state $200,000 per year for the one sister's dialysis.  Like the private jail industry in general, the decision is driven by economic concerns.

And cannabis legalization is opposed by growers stateside, who foresee massive profit losses if their product should become legal.  Organized crime would also be opposed for the same reasons.

Fidel

Isn't it ridiculous? They've got real crooks on Wall Street who will do zero time for robbing current and future US taxpayers of trillions of dollars. Banksters don't have to commit armed robbery when they pull off largest bank heists of the millenium. Hypocrisy!

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Youth and the Myth of Post-Racial Society Under Barack Obama

Henry Giroux wrote:
As the toll in human suffering increases daily, Obama and his Wall Street advisers bail out the banks and the rich just as crucial social services for children are being cut back, unemployment is soaring into record numbers and more and more youth of color are disappearing into an abysmal pit of poverty, despair and hopelessness. Raised in a blood-drenched culture of violence mediated by an economic Darwinism that harbors a rabid disdain for the common good, poor minority kids appear to be completely off the radar of public concern and government compassion. And Obama, for all of his soaring poetic imagery of unity and justice, falls flat on his face by allowing his Secretary of Education Arnie Duncan to offer up reform policies that amount to nothing more than another version of Bush's No Child Left Behind with its anti-union ideology and obsessive investment in measurement and accountability schemes that strips any talk of educational reform of any viability while turning schools into nothing more than testing factories - policies that disproportionately punish brown and black youth. These racially exclusionary set of policies and institutions have become especially cruel since the beginning of the neoconservative revolution in the 1980s, and are not poised to disappear soon under the presidency of Barack Obama - in fact, given the current economic crisis, they may even get worse.

Now there's a question crying for some data. Has the incarceration of African-Americans gotten WORSE under this "post-racial" President?

 

West Coast Greeny

Maysie wrote:

Jebus cripes. 

Arriving late to the party.

Snert you're trolling. Stay out of this thread and stop trolling babble. Yes that's a warning.

N.Beltov, stop the personal attacks and name-calling. 

 

Maysie, I disagree with you. If a progressive won't stand up for human rights in all countries, including socialist ones, then he's not a progressive. Snert did nothing more than to point out that the incarceration problem in the United States has more to do than with the fact that its a capitalist state. There are lots of states that embrace the free market almost as fully with very low incarceration rates: Canada (1%), Japan (<1%), South Korea (0.5%). All rates much lower than Cuba (4.8%).

 

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Actually, Snert's remarks began, over a year ago now, by efforts to sidetrack this thread - which is ostensibly about the US prison population - by reference to an alleged prisoner in another country. He ignored the suggestion to start his own thread about this matter which he obviously felt strongly about. 

So strongly, in fact, that no such thread has been started (other than the one one linked to that has no further contributions) and he hasn't posted on this thread in over a year. [/end sarcasm] 

 

BTW, i notice that you've quoted incarceration rates for some countries other than the USA without a link. I guess we should just take your word for those numbers, eh?

 

Fidel

And then there are the unofficial prisoners jailed around the world in the CIA's torture gulags:

[url=Clive">http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Amy_Goodman/27,000_Overseas_Prisoners.... Stafford Smith: US Holding 27,000 in Secret Overseas Prisons; Transporting Prisoners to Iraqi Jails to Avoid Media & Legal Scrutiny[/url] 2008

Sineed

Relative incarceration rates:

Canada is comparable to Western European countries, sort of:

West Coast Greeny

N.Beltov wrote:

Actually, Snert's remarks began, over a year ago now, by efforts to sidetrack this thread - which is ostensibly about the US prison population - by reference to an alleged prisoner in another country. He ignored the suggestion to start his own thread about this matter which he obviously felt strongly about. 

So strongly, in fact, that no such thread has been started (other than the one one linked to that has no further contributions) and he hasn't posted on this thread in over a year. [/end sarcasm] 

 

BTW, i notice that you've quoted incarceration rates for some countries other than the USA without a link. I guess we should just take your word for those numbers, eh?

 

There was a link posted near the top of the thread. 

World Prison Population List

Fidel

[url=The">http://geraldcelentechannel.blogspot.com/2010/12/prison-industrial-compl... Prison Industrial Complex in America[/url]  American prisoners treated like slaves? (video)

Was slavery really abolished by 1865 in America? Prisoners in America working seven days a week for no pay in a $40 billion dollar a year closed economy that benefits some of America's largest and most profitable corporations.

Vicky Pelaez wrote:
[url=http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=8289]Prison labor[/url] has its roots in slavery. After the 1861-1865 Civil War, a system of "hiring out prisoners" was introduced in order to continue the slavery tradition. Freed slaves were charged with not carrying out their sharecropping commitments (cultivating someone else's land in exchange for part of the harvest) or petty thievery - which were almost never proven - and were then "hired out" for cotton picking, working in mines and building railroads. From 1870 until 1910 in the state of Georgia, 88% of hired-out convicts were Black. In Alabama, 93% of "hired-out" miners were Black. In Mississippi, a huge prison farm similar to the old slave plantations replaced the system of hiring out convicts. The notorious Parchman plantation existed until 1972....

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Prisoners Have Nothing to Gain By Eating

by David Swanson / July 18th, 2011

Prisoners risking death by refusing food in the Pelican Bay supermax, and those hunger striking in solidarity in prisons around California are a judgment of our sickness. “The degree of civilization in a society,” said Dostoyevsky, “can be judged by entering its prisons.”

quote:

And we routinely subject large numbers of prisoners to the torture of near-total isolation. We lock human beings in little boxes for 22 or 23 hours per day. When it’s done to an accused whistleblower like Bradley Manning, we protest. But what about when it’s done to thousands of people, many of them baselessly accused of being members of gangs? Where is the outrage?

We should be refusing to eat. We should be shutting down our government with nonviolent action. We should be risking the lives we have. Instead the burden has fallen to those who have little or no lives to risk. The prisoners themselves are taking action and gaining power from behind bars.

Look at the prisoners’ demands....

http://dissidentvoice.org/2011/07/prisoners-have-nothing-to-gain-by

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

edit to delete. found the posting to be anti labour

DaveW

 

Montreal photog Ron Levine has chronicled the lives of older prisoners in the US:

 

http://www.fremantleprison.com.au/whatson/previousexhibitions/prisonerso...

 

http://www.amazon.com/Prisoners-Age-Exhibition-Ron-Levine/dp/0970150407

 

 

 

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

My reading of analysis of the neoliberal/conservative attack on education in the USA has shown some of the data of the prison conveyor - especially for young black males in the USA. The USA is really quite despicable.

Reflections on the Racial Web of Discipline MR vol 63 no 3 pp. 87-95

Crystal T. Laura wrote:
... nearly half of all black adolescent males in the United States quit high school before earning a diploma.... Each year, Civic Enterprises reported in The Silent Epidemic, almost one-third of public school students and nearly one-half of youth of colour do not graduate high school with their class. The problem is particularly acute for African-Americans, who represent about 15 percent of those below the age of 18 but make up 14 percent of all school dropouts, 26 percent of all youths arrested, 46 percent of those detained in juvenile jails, and 58 percent of all juveniles sent to adult prisons. The school to prison pipeline is not an ideological claim; the numbers speak for themselves.

 A school to prison PIPELINE - that is reality for African-America men in the "good old" USA.

Grandpa_Bill

This thread has provided some sobering, even alarming facts.

I'm wondering:  are any of these facts actionable?  I've read the thread from top to bottom looking for something that might be done, but have found nothing.

Is there someone here who has seen deeper into this thread, thought more about the issue, and found something to do?  IF so, what have you done?

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I thought a few months ago prison decline - especially in Texas - was on the decline - someone from Texas came to Canada to argue against the Con's "super-prisons".

Grandpa_Bill

On second thought, I sent this message to my American nephews and cousins:

Quote:

I just finished reading a blog post with this title:

U.S. prison population at record high

What's this all about?   A comment in the posting thread had this reference:

Reflections on the Racial Web of Discipline MR vol 63 no 3 pp. 87-95

Crystal T. Laura wrote:

. . . nearly half of all black adolescent males in the United States quit high school before earning a diploma. . . . Each year, Civic Enterprises reported in The Silent Epidemic, almost one-third of public school students and nearly one-half of youth of colour do not graduate high school with their class. The problem is particularly acute for African-Americans, who represent about 15 percent of those below the age of 18 but make up 14 percent of all school dropouts, 26 percent of all youths arrested, 46 percent of those detained in juvenile jails, and 58 percent of all juveniles sent to adult prisons. The school to prison pipeline is not an ideological claim; the numbers speak for themselves.

Surely none of you folk nor your kids or grandkids are in that pipeline, but you may know some who are . . . .  What must that be like, eh?!

Hope they don't take offence.  Wonder whether/how they will respond.

Caissa

And in Canadian prison news:

Inmates in Canada will pay more money for their room and board, and some offenders employed within institutions through a popular job skills program will no longer be paid, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said today.

Toews also announced changes to the way inmates can buy goods, and that they will be charged more for using telephones.

The public safety minister said the changes are designed to increase offender accountability and will also save taxpayers more than $10 million per year.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2012/05/09/pol-inmates-toews.html

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Yes, I was watching that on CBC Newsworld a few minutes ago. A John Howard spokesperson is concerned about this, I think they have a press conference coming up later. The concern is that inmates now won't have as much money saved up upon release to survive while they're trying to get integrated back into society.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

The irony to this 'get-tough-on-crime' agenda is the Reformers are making conditions more and more dangerous for prison workers..A major prison riot could happen any day now.

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