Non-Violent Offenses Leads United States to World's Highest Incarceration Rate
The United States has the highest incarceration rate amongst any country in the world, including China, Iran, Russia or any other socialistic country. Of every 99 people in America, 1 of them is in jail. by Liberty
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
The United States has the highest incarceration rate amongst any country in the world, including China, Iran, Russia or any other socialistic country. Of every 99 people in America, 1 of them is in jail. That is 1.6 million of your fellow Americans. This is an increase of 25,000 prisoners within the last year and an increase of 1 million in the last 20 years. The increase is blamed on mandatory sentencing, non-violent crime incarceration, and three strike policies.
Last year 49 billion dollars nationwide was spent on correction facilities, 4 times the amount spent 20 years ago. This is 60% of what federal and state governments spend on higher education, double the ratio for 1987. California taxpayers spend nearly 35,000 dollars per inmate for housing. One of the worst states, Oregon, spends 1.6 billion, which is nearly 10.9% of the state's general funds budget. Also in Oregon, 174 million more dollars are spent on jails than college education. College education is important because states with a higher college enrollment rate experience a lower violent crime rate. The top 10 college enrollment states averaged 276 violent crimes per 100,000 people, while the lowest 10 states averaged 440 violent crimes per 100,000 people.
Is America really a violent nation? In 2004, over half of the prisoners in state prisons were held for non-violent crime. This equals 640,000 non-violent crimes, 250,000 of which were for drug offenses. In Maryland, almost 70% of inmates are in jail for drug offences according to the Baltimore Sun. According to White House statistics nearly 40% of Americans have tried marijuana. Ninety-seven million people would be a lot of people to lock up. The problem with illegal drugs is the weakness of human nature. Everyone has vices, such as food, gambling, video games, tobacco, alcohol, and sex. How do you decide which vices are good and which are bad? Yearly deaths from alcohol and tobacco are 150,000 and 430,000 respectively. Illegal drugs, on the other hand, are estimated to have killed 28,000 people.
Alcohol and tobacco are drugs with health issues and society issues, like cancer, overdose deaths, and drunk driving. Instead of being illegal, cigarettes and alcohol are heavily taxed and the tax revenue is spent on state and federal programs. Tobacco and alcohol are produced in the US and create jobs. Their cost is relatively low because they are readily available compared to the black market of illegal drugs. Higher prices means more money is involved and more people are willing to put their life on the line.
Prohibition in the 1920s didn't work. It formed organized crime that was responsible for many violent crimes. The murder rate went from 1 person per every 100,000 in 1907 to 8 people per 100,000 in 1919 when the 18th amendment was passed. By 1933 when the amendment was reversed, this number was 10 in every 100,000. Fast forward to the 1991 and 6% of all homicides were related to drug manufacturing and trafficking. Even more outstanding is that 10% of federal inmates and 17% of state inmates in were in jail for crimes committed in order to obtain money for drugs. Today, gangs from Mexico and other countries illegally enter the United States to traffic drugs. These gangs are responsible for murders of rival street gangs with police and innocent civilians caught in the battle. Drug trafficking money also goes to support terrorist organizations or militias in foreign countries. There are few cases today where tobacco and alcohol have caused people to murder or smuggle them into the country. By outlawing drugs, America is increasing its violent crime rate, supporting gangs, spending billions of tax payer dollars, increasing illegal border crossings, removing citizens from society, and supporting terrorism.
The problem with mandatory sentencing and locking people up for non-violent crimes like drug offenses is that prison affects the rest of a person's life. Health care is poor in prisons with rampant diseases and viruses that spread through the inmates close quarters. Putting a non-violent offender in a jail with violent offenders may alter a person's psychology. Some studies, like those conducted by Jesse Shapiro and Keith Chen, have found that criminals are more violent when they are released from prison. This makes sense when a prisoner is exposed to a life of abuse, violence and harassment inside prison walls. Rehabilitating a prisoner back into society is tough. If a person has a record his or her job options become limited. A lot of businesses will not hire an ex-con, and other positions are simply not available to ex-cons. When incarcerated, personal relationships can fall apart and key people (spouse, friend, etc) that would help rehabilitate the person are lost. Families can also be torn apart when a parental figure is sent to jail.
The good news is that violent crimes in the US have been on the decline. In the last 20 years violent crime has declined about 4.4%, while the total crime rate has declined about 15.6%. For violent crimes, this is a decrease of about 65,000 cases (from 1.483 million to 1.417 million). Could stiffer sentencing be the reason for the decline? Sending a person to jail only happens after a crime is committed; therefore, stiffer sentences only prevent repeat offenses. Other factors that affect the crime rate include unemployment rate, income levels, single parents, living conditions, growth of the military, population age and income inequality. The US military often employs young Americans from low income families that are high school dropouts or have just gotten a high school degree. This class of people also has the highest imprisonment rate. Still if all other factors are ignored, the United States has increased prison population by over 2 times to decrease crime by 30% at a cost of 49 billion to the American taxpayer.
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Posted By: A co-defendant
Date: 2009-10-20 23:29:43
I have no idea if this will mean anything to anyone-but in the last 30 days, I have uncovered shocking evidence that I believe and would call A true abuse of Ethics, Courtrooms, and a theory that our Government is responsible. For the last 19 months- I have been led to believe that I am a co-defendant in a Federal Court Case. And I know- it was a bogus traffic stop- illegally obtained evidence, and I was just the passenger. To make a long story, somewhat short- I have sat through evidence hearing, 3 full days-Months apart of Suppression hearings- listened to lies, looked at 'susposed reports' that have Numerous Clear Errors- no signatures, dates 3 years old. The list is long. After losing the Supression hearings- and 'appeal'- the "plan" for me, by my wonderful attorney was to "proffer"- I kept telling him, "this isn't right, and somethings wrong'. He got angry, and began the "mental problem' approach. Determined to fight for 'my rights', I went to the courthouse, printed the Docket, and after careful review... more errors. terrible errors. But, like a bad dream it hit me--- It was all designed. All staged. To convince me, I was facing 5 years, and it's best to "talk about that night"- well, duh, My statement, and some evidence from an illegal stop, would certainly do damaging evidence to my co-defendant. So, they did all this for me? yes. Because on the video tape from the traffic stop, where, it would Prove my innocence- they cant use in His trial... so--- but, I couldnt get anyone to admit it. duh. I happen to come across "Torts"- and Constitutional Torts. and Administrative Law, and Tribunals.. I cant believe this stuff is acceptable! When I walked into that courtroom, I expected it to be, "real".. or at least my attorney to "Inform" me, of what's Fact and Law-- but no- for whatever reason- I guess "society or the new vocabulary of affirmative action"- allows them to completely disregard their "oaths". Shocked at 19months of what I call an Illusion- yet, since I am not a lawyer, I have no idea if what they are doing, is legal- I certainly don't think its right. If our courts are going to allow Law Enforcement, to 'violate' our rights, by using Tribunal Proceedings, or whatever the hell is going on- It makes me sick. I tired to realize, that it was done "for me"- yet, I just wasnt suspose to find out. But I refuse to sit back and believe what I am told, or believe what I am given to read... Now, I am being threatened with "being detained, and mental evaluations'. And because, I don't know the laws-- and everyone is telling me, I am wrong-- yet, I have so much proof, but no one will tell me the truth. I feel I am being 'tricked, forced or cohearsed into discussing that night"- I probably was never suspose to uncover this stuff- but as I did, I realized just how badly- the other person being charged was not just constitutionally shocking, but discriminating, and total disregard , for the fact that he IS-- a citizen. The quest to prove this, and find resolve isn't about "loyalty" to him,-- if it was my neighbor down the street, or a bum on a corner-- if I figured out what they were doing, how could I sit back, keep quiet, and not inform- all to save my ass? They know- I am not guilty.. but I have information/knowledge that they want. So, I guess in order to catch criminals.. the governement is now resorting to "if you cant beat em, join em". I have tried to privately and quietly alert everyone, and I mean--everyone involved for the last 19 months, of what I am aware of. I have asked for them to dismiss this case, and I get no resolve. They have now scheduled a "trial" date. So, what's the average Citizen to do? who do you call? Who is gonna help? I could use some advice, on how or what I should do, in order to stop this Crime that our Courts are doing. They may take the stand of Society Views, or Affirmative rights/actions- but- sooner or later, if we give the governement, our courts, our law enforcement, authority in general this power... they will soon find reason, to work this sort of proceedings into any proceeding that they wish. Its ironic that Fox news is under fire, for 'telling it, like it is".. and the Tea Party's, and the many controversy's going on in Washington. Im wondering if Fox News, would like to take on this issue?? Any advice, or direction, or someone that can help me, please contact me. Geminitwin17@msn.com Christine
The only reason America's prison rates are so much higher than any other country's is because we figured out how to make money off of it. believe it or not, prisons are becoming an INVESTMENT!
I was charged with possession last March, when weed and a pill crusher was on my person as a cop searched me. The pill crusher was sent to a lab to be tested for what resins were on it. well, a month or two passed before i got paperwork on my first court date. All i was being charged with was possession. Now, fast forward 4 months, I'm almost off probation, i finished my treatment and community service requirements, all that's left is for my p.o. to sign me off probation. Well then, the shariff that charged me with the stuff before, i find out is now trying to charge me with two FELONIES! one count of parifenilia for the pill crusher (which no illegal substance was found on after they sent it to the lab) and parifenilia for the BAG that the weed was in AFTER they already charged me!!!
i haven't even graduated highschool yet, and i'm facing year(s) in jdc / prison. i'm a 5'1 and 100lbs girl. am i really that big of a threat to society that i need to be incarcenated???
Posted By: Barbara Duffield
Date: 2011-01-26 16:04:28
Check into a good attorney, the way I understand it is you can not be charged again. Is this a small town, that you are from. On the tail end of your sentence, my question would be it took you this long to charge me with this second set of felonies, or did it take the lab this long to file their findings. It sounds like your being railroaded, about any attorney would take a case like this. There are organizaions that help juveniles that are getting a raw deal. But if I understand right, the pill crusher,unless it is for medication to help you swallow pills and you can prove that is considered paraphinila, whether a substance is illegal that is found in it or not. But if you use it for say ADD medication like my nephew does then have your doctor right out a note stating as such, or any other med you take.