The country has 5% of the world population and 25% of all prisoners of the planet. Words trailing the U.S. national anthem at a high patriotic note «Land of the free and the home of the brave» («Land of the free and the home of bold"), seems to have ceased to reflect reality. Land of the Free People for some time and has become the country with the largest population on the planet Zekov.
How did this happen?
In 2011, the number of Zekov in the U.S. now exceeds 7 million — more than the entire population of Massachusetts.
No other country in the world has such a number of prisoners, with the possible exception of North Korea, of which just do not have that information, and that in itself is like one big prison.
Prisons in the United States at the moment is sitting 760 people per 100,000 population.
In most European countries, the number of prisoners per 100 thousand of population in the region of 100 people, or one seventh of the U.S. level.
World leader in the number of prisoners, such as Brazil or Poland, behind the U.S. three times, in proportion to their population.
Here is this disparity in percentages.
In the U.S. has 5% of the world population and 25% of all prisoners of the planet.
United States prisons
What is it, a relic of the Wild West cowboy mentality?
Sheriff in town, all silent, afraid, do not hide the money?
Not at all. This trend has spread its wings prison in the last 20 years. In 1980, for example, these numbers were less than four times.
The reason for this strong growth in the number of prisoners has become a bad company "war on drugs", the result of which was almost uncontrolled growth of the number of laws that send people to prison, even for non-serious crimes related to drug trafficking.
Such laws are more than three thousand!
Over the past 20 years, the cost of maintaining prisons grew at rates exceeding six times the growth rate of the cost of higher education, for example.
California as it turned out, became a state, not only in Hollywood and Silicon Valley, but also prison staff.
For example, in 2011, California has spent 9.6 billion dollars on prisons and 5.7 billion on higher education.
Since 1980, California has built one university and 21 prison.
California spends a year on average prisoner … do not fall off the chair — $ 50,000!
Why did it happen?
The answer, frankly terrifying. It turns out the prison have become big business.
They are mainly not in the state, and private property. The interests of "prison industry" are very influential lobbyists in Washington and in their pocket are most politicians at the state level.
As a result, many state budgets are at the level of bankruptcy, but the tragedy of this phenomenon has a more long-term consequences — created an army of people, who after his release would not be ready to lead productive lives.
I would not be surprised if in the United States as his time in the Soviet Union, after a wave of mass otsidok arise prison culture, and we will hear the American version of "Murka" on MTV.
That's right, a nation of free people because of ill-conceived decisions that no one lacks the political will to change, become a nation, more than all the others were planting their own citizens in jail.
This state of affairs certainly worthy of criticism and reform.
What do you think?
American Gulag, or a new American Century
Teens in U.S. prisons
Secrets of an American Gulag