Wednesday, April 06, 2011

An American Success: The Prison Industrial Complex

In the year 2000, 2 million or 25% of the world's 8 million prisoners were housed in the U.S. Which only has 5% of the world's population.

Not much more needs saying, does it?

The Prison Industrial Complex

The Five Most Ruthless Police States in America

This past decade has seen such a large increase in the U.S. prison and jail population that there can be no historical comparison, reports the National Institute of Corrections. If the number of those incarcerated were added to the unemployment rate, the rate would be 2% greater. In the year 2000, 2 million (or 25%) of the world's 8 million prisoners were housed in the U.S. (which only has 5% of the world's population). That figure grew to nearly 2.3 million in 2010.

There is little demonstrative correlation between actual crime rates and imprisonment policies. Incarceration policies in the U.S. disproportionately impact minorities, particularly African Americans. The amount of money spent to incarcerate 1.2 million nonviolent offenders is six times that spent on child care for 1.25 million children.

In 2010 there were 1,612,071 state and federal prisoners in the U.S, an incarceration rate of 502 people per 100,000. But some states stand out from the rest when it comes to the number of residents locked up. The remaining 687,000 are locked up in city and county jails.

Here are the top five states you might want to think twice about visiting or relocating to if you have a particular aversion to spending time behind bars.

5 States with the Highest Incarceration Rate

Louisiana - Where Everyone Has a 2% Chance of Landing Behind Bars

1 in 55 Residents Incarcerated

While the crime rate in Louisiana is about 18% higher than the national average, its incarceration rate is a disproportionate 48% higher than than the national average, according to the NationalInstituteofCorrections. Louisiana incarcerates about 881 people per 100,000. That means one out of every 55 Louisiana residents is behind bars, the highest incarceration rate of any state, according to research released in 2009 by the PewCenterfortheStates, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit group.

According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Louisiana continues to lock-up too many elderly prisoners and too many people whose biggest problem is addiction. June, 2008 figures from the Louisiana Department of Corrections show that 13% of the prison population in Louisiana is over the age of 50. More than 30% of inmates were convicted of drug offenses. Louisiana also disproportionately incarcerates African-Americans, with more than 60% of its prisoners being African-American.

Of Louisiana’s 37,164 prisoners held in 2009, 2,616 were female and 37,164 are male, according to Louisiana is home to 40,025 probationers and 24,636 parolees.

There are 116 jail or prison facilities throughout Louisiana's 64 parishes, including two private prisons. more

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