Prison Life, Jails and Incarcerations in the United States
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Prison Life, Jails and Incarcerations in the United States

American prison population is going up and presently 25 % of all prisoners in the world are in US Jails

The United States is recognized as the center of freedom. Yet certain things like the prisons and the men and women incarcerated in them needs study and evaluation. In case figures have a meaning than suffice it to know that 2.3 million Americans are in US prisons. This is a colossal figure and is double of the prisoners kept by China in its jails, with a population that is 5 times the size of the United States.

The USA has a population of just over 300 million and at conservative estimates it has 25% of the total prisoners in the world. In the fifties nearly 65 % of the total number of prisoners was white, but that number has dwindled and presently the Blacks constitute 65 % of all prisoners.

The Negroes are 13% of the US population, yet constitute the majority of the prisoners. As is well known many of the states of the union bar felons their voting rights. In figures this translates to 14 % of all Blacks being denied voting rights. The leader is California with one out of 8 American prisoners behind bars there. The prison population has grown 600 % and violent crime gone up by 40%.

Juvenile Prisoners

The prison population in the USA has increased. The biggest increase is in the black and colored population. David Kaiser and Louisa Stanmow have written hundreds of pages on life in US prisons. They have pointed out that 200,000 young Americans have been tried for crimes as adults in the USA every year. At any given time 8500 young teens below the age of 18 are imprisoned in adult prisons. A further survey has shown that one in eight of these kids are the subject of sexual abuse. Prison rape is common in the USA.

State of Prisons

The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) has come out with some startling figures. These show that 1.8% of white prisoners have been subjected to sexual abuse. The corresponding figure for the black inmates is 1.3%.

Another fact brought out is that percentage of HIV/AIDS in American prisons is higher by several notches than outside.

Over the years the US prison population is going up. James Whitman, a specialist in comparative law at Yale, who has studied Tocqueville work on American penitentiaries, is of the opinion that this rise in prison population is because in the USA the criminal justice system is higly politicized.

One of the aspects of this is the famous 3 strike law signed by Bill Clinton. This lays down life imprisonment for a criminal in case he or she is convicted of 3 serious felonies or crimes.

Prisoners and Commerce

Another reason for the increase in US prison population is commerce. Many eminent Americans starting with Eisenhower had warned against the tentacles of the military-industrial complex reigning supreme. This may sound far fetched but 37 states have legalized the contracting of prison labor to private corporations like Microsoft and IBM.

This has had its repercussions and prisoners in private prisons have tripled from 1987. According to the Left Business Observer, the federal prison industry produces 100% of all military helmets, ammunition belts, bullet-proof vests, ID tags, shirts, pants, tents, bags, and canteens.

There are something called prison bonds. These are a great source of revenue for Merrill-Lynch, Shearson Lehman, American Express and Allstate. Prisoners are generating profit.

The US environment is also changing and 600 prison camps have been set up. These are fully staffed and manned, but presently are empty. These camps are operated by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency). They will come into action in case Martial Law is implemented in the United States. The USA, the land of the free has a hollow ring about it

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Comments (1)

Very interesting and informative share!