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US Prison Population

I’d just like to point out that the failure of the war on drugs in the US is second only to the “War on Poverty”. We have a prison population of somewhere in the neighborhood of 2.5 million which is roughly the population of Mongolia.

(I know you can’t make a claim like the one I’m going to make, I’m just doing it for illustrative purposes, so leave me alone)

Mongolia has a GDP of just under 9 billion dollars, assuming the prisoners we are keeping here are producing pretty much nothing, we are at least 9 billion in the hole. Forgetting entirely that we spent nearly 70 billion dollars incarcerating these people (2006, latest figure I could find).

I’m not suggesting we let all these people out of prison, but we clearly have a problem with the way we do things. I also have doubts about the level of racial bias involved in incarceration. It’s true that a disparate number of our prisoners are black, but it’s also true that an even more disparate number are male. I assume that the rate of offense is higher in males, just like I assume it is in black males.

What is clear, is that too many people are locked up, black, white, male, female, asian, republican and democrat.

Well… Maybe not democrats, but the rest for sure.

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