The myth of over-incarceration


#1

THE MYTH OF OVER-INCARCERATION
POSTED ON DECEMBER 25, 2015
powerlineblog.com
PAUL MIRENGOFF

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).


#2

“Possibly?” Most DEFINITELY!


#3

People should understand that we’re almost the only country to seriously integrate its racial and ethnic minorities. We have very few totally exclusive enclaves. That means that the police will come into contact with groups that don’t fully accept or condition themselves to our culture. Thus the incarceration rate.


#4

It is an interesting point you make. And yet, we are most definitely a divided nation according to race and ethnicity. I think we are more segregated now than ever before. Why? Because blacks segregate themselves from whites. Integrated whites and blacks are more closely observed in same income status communities. But, even with that, blacks, regardless of their financial situation, will stand behind another black rather than a white. Our last two elections are proof of that. We just don’t trust each other anymore. White racism is found at the turn of every corner. Black violence is ignored. And, all the problems in black neighborhoods is always blamed somehow on whites.

The reason why there are more blacks in prisons than other races is that the statistics show that blacks comprise 13.5% of the population yet commit 87% of all violent crimes, usually against other blacks. But, the truth is never embraced anymore. It is hardly even spoken aloud. How sad for all of us.


#5

Can anybody tell me what a life sentence is any more except a joke. Politicians come along and commute them and if you kill someone that person can be out on the street in a few years


#6

But, CT, when you present that fact, naysayers always start saying that blacks, guilty of the same crime as whites, are incarcerated at a higher rate than their white counterparts. That, in my experience, is true. If you are convicted of possession of controlled substances, and you are black, you are more likely to spend time, than the white guy with the same conviction. Why? Mostly because the white guy shows up in respectful attire, and presents a respectful attitude. Showing up with your pants down to your knees, and your under shorts hanging out, speaking ghetto slang, and showing basic disrespect for authority, is the reason for this statistic.
Also, as is often the case, the black youth is more prone to resist arrest, fight, or just insult and act like a petulant child. Also, black youth have become famous for the claim, “That ain’t mines”, or, “These ain’t my pants. I don’t know whose these are.” Cooperation with authorities and respect for the Judicial process wins points with the court.
Having friends in the Judicial System, I know what they look at. If you show proper respect, and display appropriate behavior, you will see more leniency than if you try being “gangsta”.


#7

[quote=“Tiny1, post:6, topic:48064”]
But, CT, when you present that fact, naysayers always start saying that blacks, guilty of the same crime as whites, are incarcerated at a higher rate than their white counterparts. That, in my experience, is true. If you are convicted of possession of controlled substances, and you are black, you are more likely to spend time, than the white guy with the same conviction. Why? Mostly because the white guy shows up in respectful attire, and presents a respectful attitude. Showing up with your pants down to your knees, and your under shorts hanging out, speaking ghetto slang, and showing basic disrespect for authority, is the reason for this statistic.
Also, as is often the case, the black youth is more prone to resist arrest, fight, or just insult and act like a petulant child. Also, black youth have become famous for the claim, “That ain’t mines”, or, “These ain’t my pants. I don’t know whose these are.” Cooperation with authorities and respect for the Judicial process wins points with the court.
Having friends in the Judicial System, I know what they look at. If you show proper respect, and display appropriate behavior, you will see more leniency than if you try being “gangsta”.
[/quote]Another reason is that the white person is more likely to have a home support system, so a judge is more likely to grant probation that in a situation where the offender just goes back to the 'hood.


#8

There was a time when this board’s libertarians would have been all over this racist, statist thread.


#9

[quote=“J.Anderson, post:8, topic:48064”]
There was a time when this board’s libertarians would have been all over this racist, statist thread.
[/quote]Since when is recognizing reality racism?


#10

But he made an apples to oranges comparison. America to China, North Korea, and Iran.

Why not us to Canada? We share plenty of other sociological trends in kind, from growth in meth use, to peak and valleys in air travel.

Why not us to Britain, or South Africa, or Australia, or a whole list of other countries in the anglo-sphere, to whom we share a slew of legal practices and traditions?

I don’t hate America, but I do hate statist systems that seize upon moral panics to engorge themselves. Then pretty up their case by claiming it’s the “American” thing to do.

Our entire prison system, with it’s quotas and advocates, is a clear case of public choice theory in practice. You can’t defend it without first acknowledging that.


#11

J. Anderson’s typical strategy is to make some silly comment here and then rail about it when people here refute his silliness. My suggestion? Ignore him.


#12

Why do you call them “America-haters” when their goal - clearly - is to improve the conditions of America and make it a more benevolent society.

That’s one thing I don’t accuse the other side of; hating America - I simply see them as wrong. It seems to work against you to turn it into such hyperbole.

I simply find it ironic that you think they are America Haters, then turn around and say our political system is broken, our President (whom we elected) is a criminal, etc… Who exactly hates America?

And, BTW, the number of prisoners is not from Soros, it’s from the US Justice Dept. (Which you can look up yourself as it is public record: Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) - Correctional Populations in the United States, 2014)

It’s possible your source is the one who is skewing things.

Recognizing the truth isn’t “hating America”.

Also, just because China isn’t reporting their numbers doesn’t mean “therefore we know they have more”, it’s an unknown.

The point isn’t to make sure America has the largest prison population, but to look at the issue in context with other Industrialized nations.

It’s a shame important discussions always reduce to “you hate America!” these days.


#13

[quote=“dadalus, post:12, topic:48064”]
Why do you call them “America-haters” when their goal - clearly - is to improve the conditions of America and make it a more benevolent society.

That’s one thing I don’t accuse the other side of; hating America - I simply see them as wrong. It seems to work against you to turn it into such hyperbole.
[/quote]Maybe I’m missing something.
[LIST=1]
[]What’s “benevolent” about the average street thug? His inner child, perhaps?
[
]Was Michael Brown benevolent when he shoved a cigar store clerk into a display case?
[*]Was Freddie Gray’s drug deals “benevolent”?
[/LIST]