Sunday, November 08, 2009

5% of the world's population - 25% of the world's prisoners

Did you know that the USA with five percent of the world’s population houses twenty-five per cent of the world’s prisoners? I sure didn’t.

It seems to me that the establishment of Guantanomo was a natural progression of the American government's attitude about incarceration. Why would the government hesitate to treat foreign nationals differently than it treats its own citizens?

Although I am not assuming that American citizens incarcerated in our federal, state, and county prisons are tortured in the most common use of the term, I am certain that the American philosophy about law and order is swiftly increasing the number of young people in the ‘under class’ populated by those having graduated from prison, those finding it impossible to find viable employment after leaving prison.

As always, it is my assumption that to find the culprit, one must only look to the money, to any lucrative increase in funding. America spends over sixty billion dollars a year on incarceration?(Ah, that’s what part of the last government bail out of Wall Street bankers who will never go to prison for their misdeeds?)

Who is benefited from such expenditures?

Those who build new prisons and those who operate the ones that already exist.

You can read the entire article in the 16 November Nation (page 8) in which ten steps to decrease incarceration rates in the USA are suggested.

Nation magazine, 16 NOVEMBER 2009