Shame On You, America

  • China has 119
  • Iran has 222
  • Russia has 628
  • France has 91
  • Britain has 147
  • Iraq has 54 (2006 figure)

The United States of America tops them all with a mighty 751.

What do these figures mean?

They are prison population rates per 100,000 of national populations.[1]

2.3 million American adults were in prison at the start of 2008: 1 out of every 100 Americans.

As if that is not bad enough, it gets worse:

“While one in 30 men between the ages of 20 and 34 is behind bars, for black males in that age group the figure is one in nine.” [2]

This is a society supposedly leading the free world, yet far less of its populace are free than nations it roundly condemns for repression and human rights abuses.

Where, one has to ask, is the reasoning?

Could it, perhaps, have something to do with the fear? Americans live in fear. They arm themselves against their neighbors; they form themselves into cliques and sects for protection. The slightest suggestion of taking away their guns sends them spinning into virulent frenzy.

Anyone who threatens the social structure must be locked away; sentences way out of proportion to the crimes. No-one seriously considers rehabilitation, or improving the lives of the lower classes who often are forced into crime because drugs are their only way to a less stressful, if very temporary, existence.

Incarceration is big business in America. The corporates control, and make their profits from this trade in human misery. They are as happy with high prison populations as is Exxon-Mobil with record oil prices.

Shame on you, America.

Yet again you’ve exposed yourself as a pariah of the world.

[1] World Prison Brief, University of London.

[2] International Herald Tribune, February 28, 2008

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9 Replies to “Shame On You, America”

  1. Even that bloviating racist windbag William Buckley was anti-drug war. No one with a brain supports it, but it makes lots of money for the prison industry and our corrupt government. Seems the Lawn Order folks love war and prison and can’t get enough of it.

  2. The Revenue Streams of the Giant MIL-IND Complex never cease to nauseate me.
    It sure pays them, and well, to keep the antiquated drug laws the way they are.
    Looked at in another way, it is nearly 1 in 100 of the population of the US behind bars (and I will add: that we know of). It is truly astounding in the land of the free.
    XO
    WWW

  3. “No-one seriously considers rehabilitation, or improving the lives of the lower classes who often are forced into crime because drugs are their only way to a less stressful, if very temporary, existence.”

    Better wash your mouth out RJ – that’s socialism you’re talking about! Bad, bad blogger! 😉

  4. WWW – “Land of the Free”? Maybe once.

    Twilight – if there’s one thing America truly needs, to purge itself of all the political claptrap festering in its innards – it’s a good dose of Socialism!

  5. I first heard this statistic on KFI in Los Angeles (the station that broadcasts Limbaugh in the morning). It was the local guys in the afternoon that told me this statistic and their reaction: we should lock up more.

    Have you heard about the prisons that Halliburton subsidiary KBR is building throughout the country in secret locations? The contract is for over 300 million. If you haven’t, I can give you the link if you need it.

  6. Jen Clark – if Halliburton get their way they will lock up more. Yes, I’ve heard of the KBR contract, it was mentioned in one of their 2005 press releases, HERE, Page 5, last paragraph.

    $385 million, to be precise.

  7. My guess was 380 million off the top of my head. I was pretty close.

    I’m curious … If you’re British, why are you still here? Are you thinking about leaving the country?

  8. Jen Clark – why I came here you’ll find in the sidebar under “Growing Orbits”. My wife is American and her work is here in Illinois. No, I’m not thinking of leaving. There’s much I like about America, not least many of the people. Central Illinois is the last place I would choose to be, but we hope to retire in a few years, possibly to Maine or Upper Michigan, where the air is cleaner and cooler than the hot, humid, pollution of Illinois summers. It would cost a fortune to move back to Britain now, with the dollar/pound situation, though we do return for a few weeks each year.

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