The United States has the highest documented, incarceration rate in the world, with approximately 743 per every 100,000 persons imprisoned. What sets the United States apart from the rest of the world, as related to prison policy, is the length of sentences imposed in this country. Those that are incarcerated in the United States are subject to longer sentences, whereas in other countries, time is served, and then an inmate is released back to society. In addition, the ACLU published a report in 2012, stating that the prison population is aging out, with 125,000 inmates aged 55 and older. That is a 1300% increase since the 1980s. This means healthcare costs for prisoners are skyrocketing. In 2011, California, alone, spent $9.6 billion on prisons, in comparison to $5.7 billion on higher education; approximately $8,667 was spent per student, as opposed to $50,000 per inmate. Why is this happening? Prisons are big business. Those caught in the system, in particular, include minorities, mentally ill, those impoverished, and at risk youth.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, adult correctional authorities supervised a little under 7,ooo,ooo offenders in 2011. These statistics were published in November 2012. This means currently, 1 in 34 adults is under some form of correctional supervision. The total number includes those incarcerated, at the local, state, and federal level, as well as probationers and parolees in the community. However, this number does not include the juvenile population. In fact, the current trend in juvenile justice, has made it easier to be tried as an adult, in forty-seven states. This trend reflects the "tough on crime" attitude imposed on public opinion, by legislature. The United States incarcerates more of its youth than any other country in the world. This is a very controversial issue for many reasons, which include overcrowding and violence in youth detention facilities, the prosecution of youths as adults, the long term consequences of incarceration, and the chances for a successful adulthood.
In spite of these bleak statistics, the "Hope" remains in Jesus Christ as being the only answer to the epidemic. Maybe if more people "knew" HIM, and not just "knew of" HIM, perhaps less people would fall prey to the insidiously, overbearing, and inhumane correctional system, which "profits from imprisoning".
(JESUSINJAIL stands, believes, and prays for God's justice to prevail, within the correctional system, and all affiliated.)
**Various sources were referenced in compiling all statistical information used in this article and are available upon request.
Used with SEVIN's permission. HOGMOB.com