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Drug Offenders. Asian institutionalization vs. American imprisonment

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posted on Aug, 27 2012 @ 07:18 AM
8/26 article from Bloomberg

Today’s inmates -- at least 350,000 -- are locked up, in China and Southeast Asia, just for using illegal drugs, or being suspected of it.

Human Rights Watch recently released a paper detailing the practice of warehousing alleged drug users in China, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos, adding to a stack of damning reports about these centers, which also exist in Thailand and Malaysia. In March, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and 12 other UN agencies called for closing all such institutions. It was a noteworthy statement, given that the UNODC, as well as the U.S. and other donor countries, has given many of them financial support.

Sounds horrific.

A center staff member in China said female inmates were HIV-tested so guards could identify whom they could rape without a condom.

Or horrific doesn't do justice.

The U.S., Japan, Sweden and the UNODC have actually helped Laos build its centers. Countries including the U.S., Australia, Canada, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Sweden and the U.K. have funded programs within facilities throughout Southeast Asia to improve, for instance, health care, vocational training or sports facilities. They argue that at least they can make life better for detainees.

Another successful UN venture...

By these accounts, I'd probably prefer an American prison to a Cambodian "mental hospital" warehouse, but we're not doing too well with drug offenders either.

From Federal Bureau of Prisons, federal prisoners:

Total population: 218,119

Drug Offenses: 92,721 (47.9 %)

From bureau of justice, includes state and local inmates:

State and federal prisoners
numbered 1,612,395 at yearend 2010

18% drug charges in States
51% drug charges Fed

Is it just me, or should human rights violations and the American prison system be bigger issues in the 2012 political campaigns?

I suppose it's easy to lose track of some lowly drug offenders when the sober middle class is struggling.

posted on Aug, 27 2012 @ 07:35 AM
This is just plain sad especially the rape part which I believe and I'm sure it gets much worse than just rape. I can only imagine the torture some people go through.


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