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Report: 1 in 100 Americans in Prison

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When I saw this headline — 1 in 100 Adults Now in Prison — I just knew there would be bad news for black folks, too. And sure enough:

"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."

A Baltimore lawmaker quoted in the article said the spike has to do with the incarceration of "mainly low-level drug users or drug dealers" who should be put "into treatment, which is far less expensive and much more effective."

What do you think about this report? And what can be down to curb the trend?

[Our panel of reporters will be tackling this story in today's roundtable. Check back at 4PM ET for a link to the audio.]

Comments

 

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one in nine (or 11% of) 'so-called' usa black adult males are engaged in serious felony criminality on a continuing basis...

majority usa negro communities benefit greatly from these black male thugs being caged for their criminal activities...

...priceless!

Sent by dirtyblues | 5:27 PM | 2-29-2008

Question, what gives white people that good secure feeling? Knowing they can always build more prisons to warehouse the bad guy/gal. The media preys on these peoples fear! The prison system is also big business. Brings in revenue to communities. A good book to read; Worse than slavery:Parchman prison by David Oshinsky.

Sent by Hopkins | 11:43 PM | 2-29-2008

the numbers tells me that its time for a new approach in america. how about we invest in prevention. teach tolerance and educate instead of hate.

there are a lot of troubled, under- and mis-educated people out here. and they're ending up in our prisons.

Sent by rube | 1:48 AM | 3-1-2008

American criminal "justice" system has been out of balance for years and activist like Angela Davis, Barry Scheck, and Peter Neufeld have been working to force the system to recognize its insane zealotry for imprisonment or, as in case of Davis, end the prison system altogether.

I have no idea what planet dirtyblues lives on. First of all, I'm surprised that anyone in the 21st century is still using the word "Negro." As to the matter at hand, the black community suffers greatly from having many of its young man languishing in jail - men who, with guidance and a quality education, can become productive members of society and help us get closer to the dream of economic and social equality. I am not saying that there are not people in jail who deserve punishment, but the system does not do enough to provide those who act outside of the law the opportunity to better themselves so that they can avoid making the same bad mistakes. Most people in prison are not monsters who need to be caged, but people who have made bad decisions, often for lack of better ones. Something needs to done to stop the madness.

Sent by Jarod HM | 2:31 AM | 3-1-2008

Not only are one in one hundred Americans now in prision,also the number of incarcerated women has risen 99% in the last 15 years. I know some of these women. I teach them. They are grateful,curious,intelligent and positive. One speaks fluent German,one has a college reading level, even though she hasn't been in school since 4th grade. THe vast majority are there because of minor drug offenses. They leave behind them when they are imprisioned children who need care, and any opportunity they have to find work.
It seems to me that we have to examine the old puritain notion that punishing people by putting them in cages will deter criminal activity and look at solutions that are not only more campassionate but also more cost efffective.

Sent by Peg Murphy | 8:32 AM | 3-1-2008

on average for the past 3 decades...

the 'vile, deranged & criminally-isnane' black 'predator terrorist' class inflicts more than 3 million serious/violent crimes on majority negroid ethnic communities of the usa...

10,000 murders
90,000 rapes
300,000 armed robberies
600,000 violent assaults
2,000,000 property crimes

this massive amount of criminal dysfunction destroys $900 billion in potential economic wealth of the usa's negro ethnic population each year...

in the real world of this usa cultural critic's existence...

the caging -- or destruction -- of an 'vile, deranged & criminally-insane' black 'predator terrorist saves majority negroid ethnic communities...

$275,000 in economic wealth each year...

...priceless!

Sent by dirtyblues | 8:47 PM | 3-1-2008

It is really sad when the only method of curbing crime in a country in imprisonment. But as another blogger stated, prison is a business in this extremely capitalistic country.
It is also important that people realize that the justice system in this country was designed(since the "founding fathers") to protect the euro-americans and laws has been passed and enforce specifically to for the detriment of africans and other people of color (japanese, chinese, latinos) and immigrants (irish, Germans, italians etc). Yes many of those in jail were doing wrong and should be punished, but there are many unfortunate innocent people who are in jail because they had a piss poor public defender who had the same prejudiced mindset as Dirtyblues or jurors who prefer to maintain the status quo of this America. People in this country need to recognize that instutional racism drives much of the unfairness of this country from unfair mortgage lending to education. The real question is does caucasian americans really want to have a better america which would require facing not just past facts but current and future and make real changes in their "privileged" position and make things truly equal. Would any race want to?

Sent by S. Singleton | 3:16 PM | 3-4-2008

What-a-tragic-statement-this-person-makes-about-alledged-black-thugs,-etc.-I-would-ask-so-humbly-encourage-that-person-and-others-of-that-ilk-to-mentor-black-youth-volunter-in-schools-juvenile-halls-CYAs-anywhere-there-is-the-pronounced-need-for-our-children-to-receive-the-love-supplements-that-are-absent-in-their-lives.-And-to-quote-my-own-short-poem-"Sometimes-Prison-Is"-sometimes/prison-is/a-place-people-are/sent-to-be/punished-for-the-crimes/committed-against-them.

Sent by Gloria JeanAlee | 5:54 PM | 3-4-2008

Wow, it seems we have finally earned the title "incarceration nation" We really have to stop our short-sighted thinking and get our heads together and add a dose of reality. We are a capitalist country. Are we getting the best return on our investment? What about human capital? Sure, there are violent people who need to be locked away. This is another area where we have allowed our fear to overtake our common sense, decency, and is bunkrupting our society. We are so afraid of the boogey man- Al-Quaeda, criminals etc. that certain people are running all the way to the bank and laughing while we shake in our boots. I'll ask people to ponder these questions: What is real crime? Who are the real criminals? Who is really paying for the crime in this society? Are we doing the best we can to provide opportunities for people before we lock 'em up and throw away the keys????????

Sent by A. Thompson | 4:24 PM | 3-5-2008

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