Monday, February 04, 2008

Prison by Numbers

A little while ago No Right Turn linked to an Eric Schlosser article on the Prison Industrial Complex. The article is, as No Right Turn suggested, a must read.

Here's some numbers:

  • 5,100: the number of volts administered by the 'death fence' around New Folsom prison.
  • 2 to 1: the ratio of prisoners in California's prisons to the capacity they were designed for.
  • 8 to 1: the ratio of the number of prisoners currently held in Californian prison system compared to the number 20 years ago.
  • 6: California houses more prisoners than the following six countries combined: France, Great Britain, Germany, Japan, Singapore, and the Netherlands.
  • 1.8 million: the number of people behind bars in the USA
  • 50-80,000: the annual increase in the USA's prison population.
  • US$35 billion: the amount spent each year operating the US's prisons.
  • 70: the percentage of prison inmates in the US are illiterate.
  • 200,000: the number of US prisoners estimated to have a serious mental illness.
  • 60-80: the percentage of the US prison population estimated to have a history of substance abuse.
  • 80,000: the number of woman imprisoned in the United States.
  • 70: the percentage of woman prisoners who are non-violent offenders.
  • 75: the percentage of woman prisoners who have children.
  • 1 out of every 14: African Americans men are currently in jail. 1 in 4 will end up in jail at some point in their lives.

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