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Inmate Count in U.S. Dwarfs Other Nations’

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posted on Apr, 25 2009 @ 06:34 PM

The United States has less than 5 percent of the world’s population. But it has almost a quarter of the world’s prisoners.

Indeed, the United States leads the world in producing prisoners, a reflection of a relatively recent and now entirely distinctive American approach to crime and punishment. Americans are locked up for crimes — from writing bad checks to using drugs — that would rarely produce prison sentences in other countries. And in particular they are kept incarcerated far longer than prisoners in other nations.

Criminologists and legal scholars in other industrialized nations say they are mystified and appalled by the number and length of American prison sentences.

source: ny-times article released two days ago

I understand how this is big business... which speaks to the heart of our capitalist society/philosophy, but this smacks of ulterior motives.

So in sum, if we don't slave our lives away in service to the corporate masters we take the chance of being locked up to serve them anyway?

[edit on 25-4-2009 by The All Seeing I]

posted on Apr, 25 2009 @ 06:39 PM
That's certainly how it looks doesn't it?

Also I figured soon enough we will be privatizing our prisons in some way, allowing for companies to take them over and have the inmates work on whatever projects they want.

However also I think alot of those inmates are non-violent offenders who were placed there on very stupid drug possession charges and the like during this whole War On Drugs fiasco.

You know it costs 80K a year PER inmate to the American taxpayer to keep them fed, clothed and learning?


posted on Apr, 25 2009 @ 06:40 PM
This report is most likely a very large mistatement. China does not give out stats on their prisoner population and with the regime thats in power there, I would not be surprised if it doesn't dwarf our inmate population. The Russian gulag population was never known. Its just another hit piece on Americas reputation by the one news source known for misinformation!


posted on Apr, 25 2009 @ 06:46 PM
That's what happens when people get locked up longer for a drug charge than a rape charge, and someone who is undeniably guilty and is sentenced to death spends 20 years on appeals. If I'm not mistaken, not many countries besides our own allows someone sentenced to death to sit in prison for years filing appeals. Most carry out the sentence rather quickly.

posted on Apr, 25 2009 @ 06:53 PM
Yeah, I guess this country just plain sucks.

At least that is the impression I'm getting from our media lately. Must be their intended message then...

posted on Apr, 25 2009 @ 07:12 PM
reply to post by ZindoDoone

Good point... as the article discloses later

China, which is four times more populous than the United States, is a distant second, with 1.6 million people in prison. (That number excludes hundreds of thousands of people held in administrative detention, most of them in China’s extrajudicial system of re-education through labor, which often singles out political activists who have not committed crimes.) for ny-times being a reliable source, i agree the way they cover some areas is criminal (pro-Israel/anti-Iran) ... as for this article, i see a very objective stance/position.

posted on Apr, 25 2009 @ 07:28 PM

Originally posted by tothetenthpower
Also I figured soon enough we will be privatizing our prisons in some way, allowing for companies to take them over and have the inmates work on whatever projects they want.

Unfortunately this is already the case.

Prisons for Profit

Corporations are running many Americans prisons, but will they put profits before prisoners?

A grim new statistic: One in every hundred Americans is now locked behind bars. As the prison population grows faster than the government can build prisons, private companies see an opportunity for profit.

This week, NOW on PBS investigates the government's trend to outsource prisons and prisoners to the private sector. Critics accuse private prisons of standing in the way of sentencing reform and sacrificing public safety to maximize profits.

Google Video Link

[edit on 25-4-2009 by The All Seeing I]

posted on Apr, 25 2009 @ 09:50 PM
On the thread last week called

"Top 20 Censored Stories of 2008"

One was:

"Marijuana arrests break another record as they have for the past few years!"


What better inmate would you want in your prison than a peace loving hippy?

Prison owners must foam at the mouth for a prison full of hippies!

Even though on his own website,, legalizing marijuana was in the top 10 3 times when Obama asked America what they would like to see with change in the country, I believe he will not allow this to go through!

A lot of his votes were potheads thinking he was going to de-criminalize it, as he said he was, but I think the private prisons and pharmaceutical companies will not allow it.

EDIT to add:


[edit on 25-4-2009 by breakingdradles]

posted on Apr, 25 2009 @ 09:57 PM
Do they count countries where the sentance for small offenses could be death?

I mean it wouldn't really be fair to count countries where possesion of alcohol or marajuna will result in the death penalty. That would raise our percentage or we should start executing those same criminals that way our percentage of inmates will severly drop.

posted on Apr, 25 2009 @ 10:15 PM
reply to post by breakingdradles

Excellent point... drug users are the ideal demographic to have as prisoners.

posted on Apr, 25 2009 @ 10:20 PM
YES. The war on drugs is very big business. For both sides.
I think the last statistic I heard was 60% of the prison population is in for posession or small time dealing.

posted on May, 24 2009 @ 05:38 PM
Interesting news-bit that reconfirms many of these suspicions;

Netherlands to close prisons for lack of criminals

... and their ultra liberal policy on sex and drugs, are paying off in more ways then one;

Some reprieve might come from a deal with Belgium, which is facing overpopulation in its prisons. The two countries are working out an agreement to house Belgian prisoners in Dutch prisons. ...

The Netherlands would get 30 million euros in the deal, and it will allow the closing of the prisons in Rotterdam and Veenhuizen to be postponed until 2012.

A tremendous amount of resources are freed up to be applied to more worthwhile endeavors... like universal health care, free college, extensive elder care, and paid maternity leave.

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