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More than 1% of All Adult Americans Are in Prison

Old 03-03-08, 12:19 AM
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More than 1% of All Adult Americans Are in Prison

From the New York Times.

For the first time in U.S. history, more than one of every 100 adults is in jail or prison, according to a new report documenting America's rank as the world's No. 1 incarcerator. It urges states to curtail corrections spending by placing fewer low-risk offenders behind bars.

Using state-by-state data, the report says 2,319,258 Americans were in jail or prison at the start of 2008 -- one out of every 99.1 adults. Whether per capita or in raw numbers, it's more than any other nation.

[...]

The report said the United States incarcerates more people than any other nation, 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 round out the Top 10.
We're #1! We're #1!

Incidentally, about a quarter of people in prison are there for non-violent drug offenses to say nothing of other victimless crimes like gambling and prostitution.
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Old 03-03-08, 12:55 AM
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I know China doesn't fuck around.

I remember this story from back in High School.

If there were actual repercussion to actions I'd say crime and especially repeat crime would be reduced. But what do I know, I'm not a criminal

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Old 03-03-08, 04:29 AM
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Interesting.

It's not because we have the greatest inequality in wealth, because we don't.

It's not because we have the most oppressive government, because we don't.

It's not because we have the worst race relations of any country, because we don't.

It's not because we have a culture that glorifies violence anymore than any other, because we don't.

So what is it?
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Old 03-03-08, 07:07 AM
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When this story came out a few days ago I had to laugh at how the reporters where treating it. It was almost as if it's somehow America's Fault and NOT the fault of knucklehead criminals committing crimes.

I guess some would argue that our laws may be "too strict" in certain areas but still...
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Old 03-03-08, 07:25 AM
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And just think of how much larger it would be without the criminal procedure SCt rulings of the 50s/60s.


Incidentally, about a quarter of people in prison are there for non-violent drug offenses
We sure are kicking our enemy's ass in that War aren't we?
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Old 03-03-08, 07:37 AM
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all these non-violent drug offenders will commit a lot of property crimes if they are let out to support their habits
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Old 03-03-08, 08:06 AM
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I know when I couldn't afford weed I stole from people all the time.
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Old 03-03-08, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by al_bundy
all these non-violent drug offenders will commit a lot of property crimes if they are let out to support their habits
And if it were legalized so that all these non-violent drug offenders weren't put into close contact with criminals, and they couldn't get in hoc to people who'll break their legs for not paying, do you think drug addicts will commit significantly more property crimes than alcoholics?
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Old 03-03-08, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Sean O'Hara
And if it were legalized so that all these non-violent drug offenders weren't put into close contact with criminals, and they couldn't get in hoc to people who'll break their legs for not paying, do you think drug addicts will commit significantly more property crimes than alcoholics?
[hysterics] But what about the CHILDREN?! [/hysterics]
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Old 03-03-08, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Sean O'Hara
And if it were legalized so that all these non-violent drug offenders weren't put into close contact with criminals, and they couldn't get in hoc to people who'll break their legs for not paying, do you think drug addicts will commit significantly more property crimes than alcoholics?
Maybe, maybe not. Either way...like current drug laws or not...apparently they're breaking laws and that's why they're locked up.

It's anecdotal, but having both Drug addicts and alcoholics in my family I could see where the Drug users were in and out of jail far more than the boozers. And they weren't always in jail for straight up Drug offenses.
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Old 03-03-08, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by spainlinx0
I know when I couldn't afford weed I stole from people all the time.
My oldest brother stole from me and others in my family so it's hard to for me to feel bad when they end up in jail. I realize they have a "problem", but that doesn't mean they shouldn't be held responsible for commiting crime.

BTW, he's currently serving life in prison over something he did so I guess he falls into those stats....
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Old 03-03-08, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Giantrobo
It's anecdotal, but having both Drug addicts and alcoholics in my family I could see where the Drug users were in and out of jail far more than the boozers. And they weren't always in jail for straight up Drug offenses.
Drug use, especially beyond the "joint on the weekend" level, makes one a <i>de facto</i> criminal, and criminals associate with other criminals, and, one would assume, promote criminal behavior across their population, including criminal behavior of a type with which they have no prior history. Therefore, I would argue that removing the criminality from casual drug use would no longer encourage otherwise law-abiding individuals from associating with criminals. The counter argument would be that drug users make the conscious decision to engage in criminal acts, therefore exhibiting a proclivity towards antisocial, even criminal, behavior.
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Old 03-03-08, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by wendersfan
Drug use, especially beyond the "joint on the weekend" level, makes one a <i>de facto</i> criminal, and criminals associate with other criminals, and, one would assume, promote criminal behavior across their population, including criminal behavior of a type with which they have no prior history. Therefore, I would argue that removing the criminality from casual drug use would no longer encourage otherwise law-abiding individuals from associating with criminals. The counter argument would be that drug users make the conscious decision to engage in criminal acts, therefore exhibiting a proclivity towards antisocial, even criminal, behavior.
to both points of view. It's never just one way.
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Old 03-03-08, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by AGuyNamedMike
Are you applauding my ability to argue both sides of any random issue, or my lack of conviction to take a stand either way?

(Never mind, your edit cleared it up. )
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Old 03-03-08, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by wendersfan
Drug use, especially beyond the "joint on the weekend" level, makes one a <i>de facto</i> criminal, and criminals associate with other criminals, and, one would assume, promote criminal behavior across their population, including criminal behavior of a type with which they have no prior history. Therefore, I would argue that removing the criminality from casual drug use would no longer encourage otherwise law-abiding individuals from associating with criminals.
Sure. Mind you, in general I don't have a problem with taking a good look at drug laws and maybe even rewriting some of them. I'm not totally closed minded on the issue even if it seems that way to some of you.


The counter argument would be that drug users make the conscious decision to engage in criminal acts, therefore exhibiting a proclivity towards antisocial, even criminal, behavior.

It sure seems that way...
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Old 03-03-08, 11:14 AM
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I don't think anyone is complaining about Michael Vick being sent prison.

Although, I probably could say the same about Roger Clemens if he gets sent away too.

One comment I will make now on this: if I had my way with the traffic laws, the national prison population would double.
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Old 03-03-08, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by al_bundy
all these non-violent drug offenders will commit a lot of property crimes if they are let out to support their habits
All of them? Really? Then prosecute them for theft. Don't prosecute them for being "potential thieves".
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Old 03-03-08, 11:31 AM
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This is bound to sound wierd, but I don't think I'd mind prison much. It's practically no deterrent to me at all. Disappointing my family & friends--and my own sense of self--is what keeps me on the up&up.
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Old 03-03-08, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by wendersfan
Drug use, especially beyond the "joint on the weekend" level, makes one a <i>de facto</i> criminal, and criminals associate with other criminals, and, one would assume, promote criminal behavior across their population, including criminal behavior of a type with which they have no prior history. Therefore, I would argue that removing the criminality from casual drug use would no longer encourage otherwise law-abiding individuals from associating with criminals. The counter argument would be that drug users make the conscious decision to engage in criminal acts, therefore exhibiting a proclivity towards antisocial, even criminal, behavior.
Great post!

I tend towards the former as a marginally bigger % of the impact, but not entirely as the counter argument has plenty of merit.
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Old 03-03-08, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Superboy
Interesting.

It's not because we have the greatest inequality in wealth, because we don't.

It's not because we have the most oppressive government, because we don't.

It's not because we have the worst race relations of any country, because we don't.

It's not because we have a culture that glorifies violence anymore than any other, because we don't.

So what is it?
It's like Bowling for Columbine all over. It isn't the gun laws either. It's the "culture of fear" that is the problem. Now let's go visit Charlton Heston and forget that "culture of fear" bullshit. It must be the guns.
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Old 03-03-08, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Superboy
So what is it?
The US does have a culture of violence, the US sucks at dealing with social issues (you know, the whole individual freedoms and liberties thingy ). Combine the two and there's your answer.
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Old 03-04-08, 12:58 AM
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More Midnight Basketball!!
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Old 03-04-08, 02:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Sean O'Hara
And if it were legalized so that all these non-violent drug offenders weren't put into close contact with criminals, and they couldn't get in hoc to people who'll break their legs for not paying, do you think drug addicts will commit significantly more property crimes than alcoholics?
Meth heads wouldn't likely be able to hold a job, so to answer your question, it depends on the drug. Most would be fine though.
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Old 03-04-08, 07:48 AM
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The drugs laws are why so many more people are in jail in this country. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 03-04-08, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by VinVega
The drugs laws are why so many more people are in jail in this country. Just my 2 cents.
Gee, really?
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