America - A Nation of Prisons
- J.A.I.L. News Journal
Los Angeles, California June 7, 2004
America the Gulag NationFriday, May 28, 2004
The U.S. Dept. of Justice just released the latest figures on
American prisons. Currently, there are 2.1 million people
Any time you hear America is a democracy, where citizens have rights, remember that prisons represent our 35th largest state.
We have more people in prison than live in Nevada, West Virginia, New Mexico, Nebraska, Maine, Idaho, New Hampshire, Hawaii, Rhode Island, Montana, Delaware, South Dakota, North Dakota, Alaska, Vermont, or Wyoming.
According to a report by the Sentencing project, crime rates have
been declining since 1990, but the prison population has risen by 49% during this time.
America now is the greatest jailer on earth. .... Our rate of imprisoning our citizens is approximately 600% higher than either China or Canada.
Racially, things are even worse. In historical perspective, the
899,000 African Americans incarcerated today are nine times the
number of 98,000 in 1954, the year of the Brown v. Board of Education decision. So there are now 900% more blacks in prison today than there were 50 years ago, while the black population has only doubled, or increased 100%.
Put another way, you can say that a black person is nine times more likely to be held a prisoner today in the U.S. than they were in 1954.
The huge surge in incarcerations are almost all due to punitive and racist laws that criminalize behavior that is considered to be minor in other countries. Among this are non-violent drug offenses, and the notorious three strikes laws. For example, again using info from the sentencing project, in California, which has a three strikes law, "the third "strike" of more than half (57%) of these persons is for a non-violent offense.In one recent case, Santo Reyes was sentenced to 26 years to life for trying to take the written portion of a driver's license test for his illiterate cousin. Reyes had previously had a juvenile burglary
conviction in 1981 and an adult robbery conviction in 1987.
In America we have imprisoned for life a man who committed two robberies in 24 years, and then tried to take a written license test for his illiterate cousin. ....Aside from General Motors, America's most thriving economy is its Prison Industry. Just like General Motors, the judges, prosecutors, clerks, attorneys, law enforcement officers, food & transportation industries, prison guards, gun manufacturers, construction contractors make untold billions and billions of dollars annually catering to this Industry.Yes. the Prison Industry is a very lucrative business upon which millions profit and depend. The more prisons built, the more people they can thrown in prison. Every prison must be kept to overflow. The objective is to make sure there are no empty beds, for empty beds are indicative of lost revenue to the Prison Industry. Of all things, they must keep that turn$tyle turning. The faster the better, racking up billion$ for more construction for prisons, more guards, more lawyers, more judges, more police, etc., etc.This is why, left to its own conclusion, there shall never be a conclusion to crime on the streets, for crime is so very profitable and important to the existence of government. Without it, people would start questioning the need for so much government. Crime gives the politicians the ammunition needed to sing their re-election hymn, "Vote For Me," with its first stanzas, "I'm Tough On Crime!" And so goes the American Prison Industry until it exceeds the size of that of General Motors.
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