Behind the push for leniency is the notion that America — aka “incarceration nation” — has sinned. We are told, based findings by the International Centre for Prison Studies (“the Centre”), that the U. S. has only 5 percent of the world’s population but nearly 25 percent of its prisoners.
We are led to believe that blacks are victims of the criminal justice system in large part because, thanks to the war on drugs, our prisons are overflowing with low-level drug offenders, a disproportionate number of whom are African-American. The left, including our President, the mainstream media, and others who love to cast our country in a bad light mindlessly parrot this theme.
But are these claims rooted in fact? Not according to a paper by Michael Rushford, President & CEO of the Sacramento-based Criminal Justice Legal Foundation (via Crime and Consequences).
The statistical claim that we house nearly 25 percent of world prisoners is bogus, as one would expect from an outfit like the Centre that is funded by George Soros’ Open Society Foundation. In America, we report our prison population honestly and include folks who spend a few days in the country lock-up (data that often is unavailable from other countries, according to Rushford). Does anyone imagine that nations like China (with its 1.3 billion population), North Korea, and Iran report their prison numbers honestly?
As for the composition of U.S. prisoners, Rushford points out that drug offenders are in the minority, and the vast majority of such offenders were convicted of dealing.
87 percent of U.S. prisoners are in state prisons. According to the Department of Justice, 54 percent of state inmates are serving sentences for violent crimes; 19 percent for property crimes; and only 16 percent for drug offenses.
Lots of interesting stuff here, IMO. Once again the America-haters have been found to be spouting an apples-oranges comparison, whether in ignorance or disingenuously (and possibly both).