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Thread: 1 in 136 U.S. Residents Behind Bars

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Plus JNA's avatar
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    1 in 136 U.S. Residents Behind Bars

    If that is true that is a staggering statistic.

    That was the headline and article from the AP Wire:
    http://www.newsday.com/news/nationwo...orld-headlines

    Highlights:
    Overall, 738 people were locked up for every 100,000 residents...
    The states with the highest rates were Louisiana and Georgia, with more than 1 percent of their populations in prison or jail. Rounding out the top five were Texas, Mississippi and Oklahoma.

    The states with the lowest rates were Maine, Minnesota, Rhode Island, Vermont and New Hampshire.

    "It's not a sign of a healthy community when we've come to use incarceration at such rates,"

    according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.
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  2. #2
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    And 1 out of 166 kids today qualify for a diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder, such as Asperger's Syndrome. Upwards or 90% of people on death row have such serious head injuries that you can find the evidence with an x-ray, even if there are no medical records documenting it. So, head injuries, neurological disorders, etc. are pretty clearly linked to crime.

    Something smells very rotten indeed.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian AubieTurtle's avatar
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    The really shocking stats to me are the ones dealing with racial make up of the prisons:
    In the 25-29 age group, an estimated 11.9 percent of black men were in prison or jails, compared with 3.9 percent of Hispanic males and 1.7 percent of white males.
    I don't know the reasons for it or what can or should be done but the fact that almost 12% of all black men in their late twenties are locked up is unreal.

    I also noticed that in the state of Georgia, over 1% of the population is locked up. Something is weird with society when at any time over 1% are locked up.

    Note that all these stats are for those currently locked up and doesn't include those who have been through the criminal justice system at some point.
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    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by AubieTurtle
    I don't know the reasons for it or what can or should be done but the fact that almost 12% of all black men in their late twenties are locked up is unreal.
    My vague recollection is that I have seen some things which postulate that the high numbers of young black males in prison is related to some degree to the high unemployment rate in this group. And that would also relate to the "last hired, first fired" thing that also tends to go on with this group.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Hmmm.....

    I'd like to know the incarceration rate in European countries and the corresponding crime rates......too bad we can't rely on our crime rate information to be accurate, what with the FBI and local agencies constantly moving the target and changing the rules all the time.....jeesh.....

    I think its a little strange to have some states with up to 6 (or more?) classes of felony violations and others with less.....Why can't there be a unified system for felony events dictated by the Fed. Government and the rest left to the states.....?? I wonder how many of those incarcerated are there for Civil crimes? Wouldn't it be more beneficial to make those people pay off their debts to others over time, instead of being locked up??? A nationwide tracking system to collect $$ would help...... (Enron example, make their kids attend public schools and they have to live in low rent apartment areas)
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    Gunfighter Mastiff's avatar
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    I wonder how many are there on drug charges...
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  7. #7
    Cyburbian abrowne's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Michele Zone
    And 1 out of 166 kids today qualify for a diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder, such as Asperger's Syndrome. Upwards or 90% of people on death row have such serious head injuries that you can find the evidence with an x-ray, even if there are no medical records documenting it. So, head injuries, neurological disorders, etc. are pretty clearly linked to crime.

    Something smells very rotten indeed.
    You didn't just connect autism to crime did you? Sorry to put you on the spot, but I hope that's not what you meant by neurological disorders.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by abrowne
    You didn't just connect autism to crime did you? Sorry to put you on the spot, but I hope that's not what you meant by neurological disorders.
    Not exactly. We know for a fact that head injury can cause people to lose their ability to exercise self-restraint and can make them more violent. And more and more of our kids are being medicated for diagnoses like ADD. There is no simple explanation for the "epidemic" of such diagnoses but it is generally agreed that there is a biological component of some sort, which is part of why drugs get doled out to kids at such high rates these days.

    I think my point is that, as a country, we are failing our kids and the end result is that too many of them grow up to be criminals. I wish more effort were put into providing support to families rather than cracking down criminals. "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" and, although I can't (unfortunately) cite any sources, it is pretty clear to me that failing our families and our kids is one of the roots of this issue.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by The One
    A nationwide tracking system to collect $$ would help...... (Enron example, make their kids attend public schools and they have to live in low rent apartment areas)
    If it worked anywhere near as badly as the nationwide system to collect child support, it would be useless.

    I guess my objection is that, for many non-violent crimes, the victim's chance of obtaining restitution in their lifetime is low. Someone with a career as an accountant who absconded with the company funds cannot expect to get post-conviction employment at accountant salary rates.

    I read another article a few days ago about Bill Cosby excoriating the black community for failing their kids. Sometimes I think he generalizes too much, and who would go around lecturing to the white trash contingent like that?, but still, based on the percentages in this thread, he seems to have a point.

  10. #10
    While that does seem very high, I would want to have some international context before making any complete conclusions.

    I would have to imagine that at least 50% are drug charges. Doesn't it seem to anyone else that the war on drugs is like trying to dam an ocean current?

    Or as the comedian David Cross said (in his rant on the war on terrorism, but it still applies)..."that's like fighting a war on jealousy"

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    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    I had a class called Crime Control Strategies as an elective a few years ago. The rate quoted here seems to be in line with what I remember from the class. There were some interesting things I learned in the class that was taught by a professor who ran a post-prison organization to help resocialize and educate ex-prisoners.

    1. The criminal justice system is not fair. Money makes the difference especially in minority cases. You are basically screwed if you get a public defender and are a minority.

    2. The deterrance theory of the criminal justice system as it is set up does not work.

    3. Criminal activity is strongly linked to economic situations, just as someone previously mentioned. When the economy is good, overall crime drops. Some economic situations breed desperation and contempt and from there....well we see it everyday on the news.

    4. In the African-American male population: Of four men reaching 30 years old....one will be dead, one will be incarcerated, one will be an addict, and one will succeed.

    5. The "War on Drugs" is unsuccessful and wastes so much money. A fair number of people incarcerated are there because of drug charges or related drug charges (I think it's about 35%, but don't remember exactly).
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