Sunday, June 22, 2014

US incarceration rate world's highest; Texas, southern states leading the pack.

If one were to rank U.S. states as independent nations, Texas would have the fifth highest incarceration rate worldwide (i.e., the number of people incarcerated per 100,000 population), behind Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Georgia, reported the Prison Policy Project in a remarkable chart. (H/T: Sentencing Law and Policy.) Of course, Texas is so much larger than those other states that our prison population numbers greater than the combined total of the four states above us on the list (calculated based on prison population estimates here). Texas has the largest prison population of any individual U.S. state - higher even than California which has a much larger free-world population.

Ranked thusly, other nations don't even come into the incarceration picture until way down the list, beginning with Cuba, Rwanda, Russian Federation, and El Salvador. Choice company, eh?

Here's another remarkable graphic from their research:


PPP concludes that "even the U.S. states that incarcerate the smallest portion of their own citizens are out of step with the larger community of nations."

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

There are lies, damned lies, and then there are statistics. There are so many variables--legal, cultural, demographic, etc.--which influence this data that this information is essentially worthless. Where does the US rank in dog ownership? Yawn...

sunray's wench said...

Many Texans don't care what happens outside of Texas, so this won't make a lot of difference to the likes of Anon up there.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

What "lie" do these statistics tell, 11:25? Does the US not lead the planet in incarcerating its citizens? Does Texas not incarcerate more people than other states and any nation besides the U.S.? What precisely do you find misleading?

I realize people who don't understand math tend to "Yawn" whenever it's trotted out, but that doesn't make the data any less probative.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 11:25 must be a warden...hahahahahahah

joshuaism said...

Typical American exceptionalism by Anonymous 11:25, although a worrisome generalization in this case. "Americans are exceptionally criminal and thus need to be locked up at greater rates."

Colleen McCool said...

Shame, shame, shame! !!@#$%^&*!!!!

Right now, really violent predators roam free and rape kits go unprocessed while our precious resources are depleted chasing nonviolent drug users. Treatment is seven times cheaper than prison. Get tough on violent crime! Show fiscal responsibility, demand morally correct policy! Restore Justice, the guardian of liberty!

Please consider, how morally bankrupt it is to punish nonviolent adults for making a safer health choice, cannabis or marijuana, compared to other medicinal/social drugs. It should be treated like the healing herb it is! It should be free of limiting legislation just like echinacea, golden seal, etc. It is far safer than most pharmaceuticals!

The tobacco, alcohol and prescription drug gangs cause more death annually than all illicit drugs.
http://drugwarfacts.org/cms/?q=node%2F30#sthash.TFB1QCiD.dpbs

Addiction rates for tobacco, alcohol and prescription drugs soar far above the 1% of our people actually addicted to anything illegal. Many so-called illegal drugs are available in pharmaceutical forms.

Together we can save the American dream, self-government, freedom from big government tyranny, oppression.

Your Friend in Liberty,
Colleen McCool
Stephenville, TX
McCool Portraits & Political Commentary
http://mccoolportraits.com/index.htm

Since 2006 McCool has awarded two "Rebel with Just Cause" portraits yearly, each dedicated to the freedom philosophy or the American dream. True American patriotism is a willingness to shoulder our duty, to challenge the government when it’s wrong, to be a Rebel with Just Cause!
http://mccoolportraits.com/2010rebelwithjustcause.htm

Margaret Moon said...

Prison is an industry! An industry that pays very well. Look at who invests, Wells Fargo, Bob Barker, and a host of others you would be surprised to read! Our judicial system is run by the investors.
Sentences are too harsh and too long. Drug offenders have been the target for too long. Now they are going after "sex offenders." Many offenses don't even require a hand's on victim. Others criminalize the male but the female (consensual) is a victim because of her age or state of inebriation. Doesn't matter, to keep the system in business SOMEBODY IS GOING TO PRISON!

Anonymous said...

Omg your intelligence is showing!! What a great response please continue your rebel with just cause movement!

Anonymous said...

They are most likely a private prison executive or consultant. Those guys like to spread lots of misinformation to hide the thiefdom and the millions of dollars they funnel to our politicians. Keep on them Grits!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Texas needs to end felony possession. We would be better off diverting the funding for incarcaration to local treatment programs and community probation. Texas should legalize marijuana and use the funding for treatment and prevention. Lack of mental health care has resulted in people self medicating themselves. Anyone who has studied substance abuse more than a day will tell you it is about mental health issues more than addiction.

Anonymous said...

What's annoying to me is the cyclical nature of the problem. For two decades or so, politicians like John Whitmire have waffled about crime and punishment. Each session they add to the penal code new felonies. One decade we're not hard enough on criminals, the next decade we need to think smart about crime. When crime drops, incarceration rates increase. Go figure. As long as people think they're safer, they'll pay the bill.

Robert Langham said...

This is what happens when: " THERE OUGHT TO BE A LAW!!!!"

Kerrie Peacock said...

Now all we need to do is find a way to reduce these numbers!

JJ said...

I agree with Kerrie. For every new law pass├ęd, one or more should be repealed. And regarding the incarceration stats, what are the numbers for China and North Korea? Are they credible? Perhaps they surpass us based on incarcerations per capita. Overall, I agree with this post. Next we'll be creating detention camps for kindergartners and elementary age children. They are such easy targets these days what with being mandated to be in schools where violence is more common (and sometimes necessary) to defend their lives. I am seriously considering home schooling mine.

Sam said...

What 11:25 may be referring to is those statistics ignore the nations that utilize judicial corporal punishment. It remains widespread in its legal acceptance in many parts of Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Anonymous said...

The people I've known sentenced to prison (not jail) all had a history of violence. They had multiple encounters with the legal system before being sent to prison.

I often wonder why we are such a violent society.

(Rural Route 208)