Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...

Monday, April 07, 2003  

Incarcerations Up

While we're on the subject of justice for all, this just in: the number of people jailed in the US is over 2 million for the first time ever. It's an alarmingly grim report.

• one out of every 142 US residents is incarcerated;
• 12% of blacks aged 20-34 are incarcerated;
• only 1.6% of whites of the same age are.

The US has long been the world's leader in jailings. According to the International Centre for Prison Studies, the US's incarceration rate is 686 per 100,000 citizens. That's twice as many as Panama, and four times as many as Mexico and Jamaica. But don't think this is some kind of cultural or legal mandate: in the mid-70s, our incarceration rate was a quarter what it is now.

Oh yeah, and in light of the Mike Hawash jailing, it's again time to pose hard questions about that white/black incarceration rate differential. What the hell's gone wrong with our country?

posted by Jeff | 3:29 PM |
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