US prison population up eight-fold since 1970

Reply Wed 21 Nov, 2007 12:48 am
The US prison population is currently eight times as high as it was in 1970, but zealous prosecution and tough sentencing guidelines have done little to curb crime, according to a report [PDF-data <click>] released Monday by the JFA Institute, a Washington criminal justice research group.


Proponents of prison expansion have heralded this growth as a smashing success. But a large number of studies contradict that claim. Most scientific evidence suggests that there is little if any relationship between fluctuations in crime rates and incarceration rates. In many cases, crime rates have risen or declined independent of imprisonment rates. New York City, for example, has produced one of the nation's largest declines in crime in the nation while significantly reducing its jail and prison populations. Connecticut, New Jersey, Ohio, and Massachusetts have also reduced their prison populations during the same time that crime rates were declining.

According to Reuters, a US Justice Department spokesman disputed the report's findings and argued that tough-on-crime tactics were responsible for a 25 percent drop in violent crime in the 1990s.
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Reply Wed 21 Nov, 2007 10:56 am
canada's conservative government (they used to be called "progressive-conservative" , but gave themselves a new label) has also decide that building more prisons would be good for canada's construction industry and are in the process of of introducing much tougher crime legislation .
and once the prisons have been built they must be filled - makes sense , doesn't it ? no use having them sitting empty !
probably checking with BIG BROTHER on the SOUTHERN BORDER Shocked .
one crime that is particularlly on the increase : HANDGUNS BEING SMUGGLED IN FROM OUR SOUTHERN NEIGHBOUR !
gun dealers have found out that handguns command a much higher price on the "underground" market in canada than in the U.S. - they are fast learners !
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Walter Hinteler
Reply Sat 1 Mar, 2008 12:01 pm
Thew media reported again on America's prison population (1 in 100 adult Americans are in prison.

What you make of it is up to you.

While there is no doubt about the incapacitation effect of locking up so many people, the US system doesn't seem to be successful at preventing reoffending, and thus by implication, at deterrence.
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Reply Sat 1 Mar, 2008 12:45 pm
I just heard 1 in 100 too. A large majority are black and non-violent. The biggest difference in incarceration rates is between white and black women (if I remember right).

Maybe that's what's keeping our unemployment rates so falsely low.
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