US Prison Population Zooms Up From 1980

Disturbing chart at Amygdala.

I knew it was bad, but not this bad.

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6 Responses to US Prison Population Zooms Up From 1980

  1. Rhodo Zeb says:

    Along with the growth of private, for-profit prisons.

    That’s one industry that needs to be regulated out of existence posthaste.

    Along with the former limitations on media concentration, this issue is one where turning back the clock is just fine.

  2. Mike Marshall says:

    I posted this on Amygdala, but I thought I’d repeat it here.

    I feel as if some mention should be made of the fact that over 90% of felonies in this country are disposed of via plea bargain, in which there is absolutely no presumption of innocence. The deals basically get a rubber stamp from a judge, and off ya go! So you can infer that of those 2.5m people in prison, well in excess of 2m of them went to the klink without a jury trial. We are so rad.

    Anyone interested in that twisted labyrinth should read John Langbein’s classic article on the subject:

    Monday, November 09, 2009 12:14:56 PM

  3. Rhodo Zeb says:

    Thanks for the info and cross-posting, Mike.

    It is a morass, without a doubt. I was probably otherwise suitable to become a PD, but just wasn’t willing to enter that industry, and it is just that, an industry.

    Remember the forced-birthers old slogan?

    ‘A society can be judged according to how it treats its weakest members’ is, I believe, a fair paraphrase.

    During the same period of time, US incarceration rates rose at the same time that prison assault and rape became a common joke to be referred to, obliquely. That was then, this is now. Oh, yeah, that was also the good old days of torture, taught to our Latin American clients and rogue forces. Heh. Funny, ain’t it?

    We can do better.

  4. Briany says:

    Wow this is pretty startling. What might be the cause of such a dramatic incline from 1980 onwards? I’m also quite surprised to see Europe (where I live) so low in comparison. It seems strange that there is a steady incline for years and then and soon as the 1980’s are reached, there is a massive increase.

    wood burning stoves

  5. Rhodo Zeb says:

    It is called the establishment of a loosely-regulated, for-profit industry.

    Loosely-regulated in a relative sense, perhaps. But then, when the foxes are already inside the henhouse…

  6. Rick says:

    1980 is a significant year. At that time all you heard on TV news and talk shows was
    what are we going to do with all the people graduating from law school and taking
    the state board exams? What are we going to do, we are going to have 1 lawyer
    for every three people in the US.
    Answer: Create millions and millions of new laws, ordances and regulations to keep
    all these lawyers gainfully employed. And that is exactly what has happened over the last 30+ years in the US!
    Do I hear FREEDOM?

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