U.S. Prison Population Has Grown 27 Times Faster Than the Rate of Population Growth
In America, there is a rush to lock people away in cages, evidenced by the prison population in this country. America has 5 percent of the world’s population and 25 percent of the world’s prisoner’s, and it’s not getting any better.
Driven by an ever-escalating “war on drugs,” the number of federal prisoners incarcerated in the United States has increased by ten times in just 30 years—27 times faster than the rate of population growth. According to a report released by the Urban Institute, the federal prison population stands at about 218,000 and is adding nearly 10,000 prisoners every year.
And this is the land of the free?
Kulture Kritic reported yesterday the story of Stephanie George, whose boyfriend hid crack cocaine in her attic, and now she’s spending life behind bars. Sadly, these cases of non-violent offenders being locked away for life are nothing new.
Meanwhile, HSBC bank was just found to have laundered 800 million dollars in drug money and, of course, no one went to jail. Men and women, disproportionately black and brown, are locked away for life for minor drug offenses, meanwhile executives who launder hundreds of millions of dollars in drug money see no jail time. This only proves that there are two sets of laws in America - one for working class people and one for the rich.
What’s behind the push to lock people up? Private prisons are making huge profits by putting people behind bars and cutting back on prison operating expenses, such as medical care and food. Regrettably, no one in Washington D.C. views this as a problem. They’re too busy debating the fabricated crisis known as the fiscal cliff to fight for ordinary people.
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