For the first time in the nation’s history, more than one in 100 American adults is behind bars, according to a new report.
Nationwide, the prison population grew by 25,000 last year, bringing it to almost 1.6 million. Another 723,000 people are in local jails. The number of American adults is about 230 million, meaning that one in every 99.1 adults is behind bars.
It's even worse for minorities, I've heard that there are more blacks in prison than in college, though don't have a good source for it.
The really sad thing is how many of those people are minor drug offenders, totally nonviolent people who did nothing to anyone but themselves, and now they're in prison for years and years. And then when you take into account how much crime happens because drug markets are black, I bet we could easily halve our prison population by ending prohibition, and I wouldn't be surprised if we could get it under 1/10 what it currently is through sensible policies.
Too bad all of that is political suicide. And now it's getting even worse, with prison becoming an industry of its own.
So do you like where this is heading? I know I do!