Saturday, June 6, 2009

How Many Is Too Many?

An article over at Slate.com highlights just how big the US prison industry is.
The United States, with 5 percent of the world's population, houses nearly 25 percent of the world's prisoners. As Webb has explained it, "Either we're the most evil people on earth, or we're doing something wrong." We incarcerate 756 inmates per 100,000 residents, nearly five times the world average. At this point, approximately one in every 31 adults in the United States is in prison, jail, or on supervised release. Local, state, and federal spending on corrections now amounts to about $70 billion per year and has increased 40 percent over the past 20 years. Source: Slate.com

It seems to me that the current strategy of locking everyone up isn't exactly working and is not sustainable. It may not be politically palatable, but perhaps we should look at other ways to reduce crime.

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