Thursday, February 28, 2008

U.S. incarcerates more than any other nation: report - Yahoo! News

The report by the Pew Center on the States said the American penal system held more than 2.3 million adults at the start of the year.

The far more populous nation of China ranked second with 1.5 million behind bars, with Russia a distant third with 890,000 inmates. (USA, USA... We're #1 ! snark!)

"Beyond the sheer number of inmates, America also is the global leader in the rate at which it incarcerates its citizenry, outpacing nations like South Africa and Iran," according to the report.

Tough sentencing laws, record numbers of drug offenders and high crime rates have contributed to the United States having the largest prison population and the highest rate of incarceration in the world, criminal justice experts say.

The failed "War on Drugs" is responsible for more than half of the current prison population.

And perhaps not surprisingly, over half of the people jailed on drug-related charges are in for simple possesion of "soft drugs" (Marijuana, Hashhish, Ecstacy, etc.).

As a nation we now spend more on prisons than on higher education.

It is past time that we overhaul the short-sighted drug policies that have led to this national embarassment.

Catch you later.....

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