According to the American Prison Policy Initiative:
The American criminal justice system holds almost 2.3 million people in 1,719 state prisons, 102 federal prisons, 1,852 juvenile correctional facilities, 3,163 local jails, and 80 Indian Country jails as well as in military prisons, immigration detention facilities, civil commitment centers, state psychiatric hospitals, and prisons in the U.S. territories. And the numbers are increasing.
As per UN numbers: The number of people in US prisons is more than the entire populations of 90 out of 233 countries worldwide.
BBC news reports (from the International Centre for Prison Studies) that prison rates in the US are the world’s highest at 724 people per 100,000. In Russia the rate is 581 and China 118. Interestingly, Canada’s rate is also 118 per 100,000 of population according to Stats Can. We incarcerate like the People’s Republic!
The number of federal and state prisons in Arizona is 53. That number does not include local jails, juvenile facilities, immigration detention facilities, etc. Arizona is number six of the top ten (mostly southern) states for incarceration rates.
When I think of hard-line criminal, not-so-just, penal systems around the world, I think of North Korea, Russia, China and (thanks to the movies: Midnight Express) Turkey. They are veritable freedom havens compared to the US of A.
Why is that?
How do you make America great again if so many young males are in jail being watched over by young males and put there by young males? Does the fact that all those groups come heavily armed to the vocation of their choice have anything to do with it? Does Capitalism have anything to do with it? Does ‘police state’ come into play?
I don’t know. I know squat. But I do observe a few things that are maybe related…maybe not….one thing is the news down here. It is more than a joke, it is a parody of news. Honest. Firstly, about one third of the news is the weather. I find that so odd when the weather is the same every day! Seriously, they open with the weather, they talk about it in their little ‘chats’ with their co-news personalities and they also close with the full weather report again.
The so-called news itself is insane. You get a snippet of something – usually traffic or a shooting, often both – a bit of sports and maybe a Trump-snack…seriously…no piece longer than 15 seconds. And never more than three ‘bites’ in a row. Then they cut to a series of ads. Usually seven or eight ads in a row and half of them are ads for medications. It is not unusual to hear five or more ads for drugs in a row. Then two or three more news ‘bites’ and then more ads. Maybe 12 ‘story bites’ over half an hour and always ending with a cute dog story or something insane. Worse, at least one, sometimes two, story-bites are thinly veiled ads for a new restaurant opening or a Black Friday/etc. sale as if that was news. The ‘report’ is such that you KNOW the business paid for it. Last week, they featured a minute every night with a reporter on site for the up and coming (not yet arrived) World Wrestling (WWE) match!
Honest-to-God, there is no real news in Phoenix unless the cops or the robbers shoot each other or the other guy – in itself all-too common madness – and the rest is utter drivel. And, of course, the same weather day in and day out. “That’s right, Bill, we’ll have temperatures in the low 70’s throughout the valley and bright and sunny the whole time!”
“Dave, what’s your point?”
Well, I’ve said it before a number of ways but, if the news is anything to go by, the population (in Arizona, anyway) is purposefully KEPT ignorant of what is happening in the world. The news is STUPID. S-T-U-P-I-D! Beyond stupid. It has to be a plot of some kind. OMG is this place ignorant!
AND they have a lot of people in jail and a lot of people in the jailing business…..
….I dunno….maybe it is just a coincidence?
On a separate note: you may have noticed a lot of blogs lately. I have been trying to unclog the writing pipes so that I can address the next book which is feeling like a large blockage in my cerebral colon. I may not succeed. Sometimes a blockage blocks, ya know? Worse, readership is way down. There is only Sid and Untidy…..That means that the MORE I write, the less is read. What cruel irony!
O’ what cruel bite thy serpent sends to inflict the spite for what the writer rends.
(Yeah….I am losing it…….)