1 in 100 American Adults is Behind Bars

It's finally here. For the first time in history, 1 in 100 American adults is behind bars:

Nationwide, the prison population grew by 25,000 last year, bringing it to almost 1.6 million. Another 723,000 people are in local jails. The number of American adults is about 230 million, meaning that one in every 99.1 adults is behind bars.

Incarceration rates are even higher for some groups. One in 36 Hispanic adults is behind bars, based on Justice Department figures for 2006. One in 15 black adults is, too, as is one in nine black men between the ages of 20 and 34.

The report, from the Pew Center on the States, also found that only one in 355 white women between the ages of 35 and 39 are behind bars but that one in 100 black women are.

The report’s methodology differed from that used by the Justice Department, which calculates the incarceration rate by using the total population rather than the adult population as the denominator. Using the department’s methodology, about one in 130 Americans is behind bars.

Either way, said Susan Urahn, the center’s managing director, “we aren’t really getting the return in public safety from this level of incarceration.”

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Highest incarceration rate of any nation in history, including any and all dictatorships, current and past. And thats by quite a margin. Land of the free indeed.
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donna: AND more sleep, as neatorama has recently mentioned, twice i believe. to build off of your comment-- a parent couple had two kids with behavioral issues. they would misbehave at home and were getting in trouble almost daily at school. they had ADD and ADHD and were having trouble getting to sleep at night. the parents disciplined them, but nothing was working. you know what they did? they changed their diets. the mom started doing research on what additives were in their food. she was soon disgusted to learn that all the food her children were eating was completely infused with chemicals and preservatives. they changed their diets by switching to only organic food. the children showed immediate behavioral results. they were calm, well behaved, weren't getting in trouble at school, getting better grades, were less violent, were falling asleep at night when they were supposed to, making friends, and no longer showed signs of ADD and ADHD. amazing. so yes, donna.. better nutrition might result in lower crime-rates.
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Jail needs to be the last resort instead of the first. My nephew is mentally ill, and has ended up in a jail a few times for minor infractions. Once they realize he is mentally ill, they get him into treatment, but jail shouldn't be the first stop for people who are simply minor behavioral problems.

Lots of people in jail have untreated mental illnesses. Perhaps even most of them, which leads to the drug and alcohol abuse.

And everyone in jail ought to be getting Omega 3s in their diet, which reduces violent behavior. We need to just get more Omega 3s into the entire food system, actually. Our diets have become deficient in it over the last fifty years as there is more processed food and less natural food, and less fish in our diets.

Amazing how many problems might be solved simply by better nutrition.
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