Wednesday, May 3, 2006

American Apartheid

Many people in the nation have come to the conclusion that the rate of incarceration and exploding prison population are a serious problem. With many prisons being privately owned, lobbyists are pushing for more and higher mandatory minimums. This is done for no other reason than pure profit.

Nationwide there are 2.2 million people behind bars. 68% of them are black. Under apartheid, 851 per 100,000 Africans were incarcerated. In America, blacks are being incarcerated at a rate of 4,419 per 100,000. Whites are being incarcerated at a rate 717 per 100,000 The national rate is 724 per 100,000. This is the highest in the world. In China, the rate is 118 per 100,000. I can only describe this as sickening. China has been accused of numerous human rights violations, but they incarcerate 6 times less than the U.S. While having a population that is 4 times more.

There are many reasons the incarceration rate in the nation is so high. The greatest impact comes directly or indirectly from drug law enforcement.