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Incarceration rates

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by el_Kabong, Dec 10, 2006.

  1. el_Kabong


    Jul 11, 2005
    This isn't intended to be a politcal post, please delete it if it's perceived as such. I'm Australian and was wondering what Americans thought about this. Seems strange and surprising when the US is such a wealthy country. I understand that the US prison system is privatised to some degree, so in some cases someone benefits economically by locking people up. Do you think that's a relevant factor?
  2. Fire-Starter


    Aug 11, 2002
    From one source I read, it cost aprx 5,000 to educate a person here per year, VS 35,000 to lock them up per year....not saying everone in prison is not guilty of something, but those figures are troubling:meh:
  3. Poop-Loops

    Poop-Loops Banned

    Mar 3, 2006
    Auburn, Washington
    I think the last rate I heard was that 25% of all prisoners in the world happen to be American prisoners.

    A lot of that could be solved if pot wasn't illegal. But not all of it. A good chunk of that is probably due to gangs, so something has to be done about that. Something to stop them from forming in the first place, since jail time = respect for them. :meh:
  4. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    In the sixties/seventies the American political leadership of both parties strived toward rehabilitation and the theory that criminals were products of bad environments and it wasn't their fault. Leniency was typical and many repeat violent felons got off with warnings or were released on a legal technicality. Some judges refused to give proportionate sentences or follow the laws wen it came to sentencing. As a result crime skyrocketed and many American cities became unsafe at any time, day or night. Large areas of American cities were literally run by the criminal element. Studies found that a vast majority of violent offenders were repeat offenders. So the pendulum swung in the opposite direction.

    Mandatory sentences were written into law by frustrated legislators who decided they couldn't trust judges (many of whom had earned this mis trust). And "three strikes-your out" laws became popular for violent offenses. The prison population rose because criminals were staying in prison, the crime rate fell accordingly. Whatever your gripes with mandatory sentencing and high imprisonment rates no one can argue that American cities are not far safer today then they were at the peak of high crime rates in the late seventies. Has the pendulum swung to far? Perhaps.

    As far as America's crime rate compared to the rest of the world. America is different from almost every nation on earth in a variety of ways. 1) America is wealthy and this wealth is wide spread. With easy access to expensive things comes much temptation and jealousy 2) America is one of the most diverse places culturally in the world with many different cultures learning to coexist. We also have probably the least "ghettoization" of those cultures. Unlike many countries where the Arabs all live in one area and rarely have Jewish neighbors for instance, so their is more chance for cultural conflict and misunderstanding. The only place close that I've seen is Canada, but the population density is far lower. Europe is just beginning to experience and struggle with this situation. 3) America is one of the least regulated economies in the industrial world with only perhaps Asia having less regulation. This promotes free enterprise which is good. It also makes criminal enterprise easier to hide.
  5. Fire-Starter


    Aug 11, 2002
    You know what Poop-Loops, you are right with the jail time = respect statement, and to me, a person has got to be insane to want to give up their freedom to roam the earth, to be locked up in a 3 by 5 ( or what-ever) cell. I have told young people this many times before, "you're are trying to get into jail, while those in jail are trying to get out" :rollno:

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