Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Factoid: America has < 5% of the world’s people but almost 25% of its prisoners

Source:"A nation of jailbirds," Lexington opinion column in the The Economist, 4th April 2009.
"It imprisons 756 people per 100,000 residents, a rate nearly five times the world average. About one in every 31 adults is either in prison or on parole. Black men have a one-in-three chance of being imprisoned at some point in their lives."
The first half of the story is a searing list of statistics on the brutality and ineffectiveness of the US prison system. But the point is that there's a politician who seems to have taken up this most unpopular of all issues in a democracy (after the rights of sex offenders): Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia.

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