More than 1% of American adults is in jail

29Feb08

From CNN News: For the first time in history, more than one in every 100 American adults is in jail or prison, according to a new report. The report, released Thursday by the Pew Center on the States, said the 50 states spent more than $49 billion on corrections last year, up from less than $11 billion 20 years earlier. The rate of increase for prison costs was six times greater than for higher education spending, the report said. …
Using updated state-by-state data, the report said 2,319,258 adults were held in U.S. prisons or jails at the start of 2008 — one out of every 99.1 adults, and more than any other country in the world. …
The report said prison growth and higher incarceration rates do not reflect a parallel increase in crime or in the nation’s overall population. Instead, it said, more people are behind bars mainly because of tough sentencing measures, such as “three-strikes” laws, that result in longer prison stays. …
The report said the United States is the world’s incarceration leader, far ahead of more populous China with 1.5 million people behind bars.
(Full story).



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