They Hate Us For Our Prisons

Tyler Durden's picture

There was a time when US schoolchildren, a few short years before they were loaded up with $60,000 a year in unrepayable federal debt (used mostly to purchase various iTrinkets) to pay for community college, were taught that all those people outside the continental US hate its residents "for our freedoms." It must then come as quite a shock for all these kids to learn that what they really meant is that "they hate us for our prisons."

From Max Raskin, Bloomberg:

The U.S. has the world’s highest incarceration rate, with Department of Justice data showing more than 2.2 million people are behind bars, equal to a city the size of Houston.


The CHART OF THE DAY shows that, with a rate of 730 people per 100,000, the U.S. jails a higher proportion of its citizens than any other country, according to data from the International Centre for Prison Studies, an independent research center associated with England’s University of Essex.


“The model is, if you build it they will come,” said Daniel D’Amico, a professor of economics at Loyola University New Orleans. “Because we have all these prisons and all of these other resources funneled into our criminal justice system, we have this ability to enforce things that would otherwise be unenforceable.”


“That includes the drug war, but it’s also including everything from the Martha Stewart types to immigration policies,” D’Amico said. “The scope of things that are now criminal in corporate law is exponentially higher than it was merely twenty years ago.”

Well, how about no longer "building it" then? But for that to happen two things would need to change: either a member of the ruling Wall Street financial oligarchy would finally have to be thrown in maximum "pound me in the ass" security prison (to quote Matt Taibbi), something which as has been patently demonstrated, can never happen in the US; or, prisons are no longer the equivalent of a fully inclusive, taxpayer funded room and board vacation, where a certain subsegment of society can rest indefinitely for the most meaningless of transgressions.

Since neither of these two events will occur, it is probably safe to replace the the bald eagle on the Great Seal with a photo of Alcatraz and be done with it.

h/t Carl

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a growing concern's picture

Is that really the record?  Was that MDB in his early days, or RoboTarder? 

fxrxexexdxoxmx's picture

I got over a hundred one time when I made a comment about Obama and referenced his "cling to their bibles and guns" statement. I am amazed that /s tags are actually needed at times. Been around for two years and any look at my previous Obummer views would have left no doubt. I have voted you down.. good luck

Taint Boil's picture



I never down arrow but I'll help ya out just this one time.

max2205's picture

Come on! Last year the R word was good for at least 100

Oh how times change

dugorama's picture

Bobby Rickey, you're either first or you're last

tony bonn's picture

prison is one of the most barbaric and corrupt form of punishment in existence - exceed only by torture, something practiced extensively by the armed forces and cia.....and these high rates in the usa is more proof of its backward barbarianism, and the fault is not all with the so-called criminals but with the infantile minds of the judges and people who advocate this is a tool of repression aand has no rehabilitative value...

Zadok's picture

The only constant I have found in any court, government office at any level, nongovernmental agency, or 'helpers' of the court is that they will find some way to justify their position (societies great need for their 'service') at the expense of the innocent. If we actually got rid of the problem their racket would have to morph. They never solve or resolve anything concretely, they do make sure they and you are constantly involved, charged $ at every step, and can never legally get free unless there is nothing left to steal.

The net outcome of that self serving approach is the innocence is ALWAYS abused and nefarious activity is never consequenced, for the simple reason that it would harm the profitability of the racket.

I have no exceptions to these experiences.

This seems to apply to any and all areas of law.

Taint Boil's picture



+1, That was good.

nick howdy's picture

This is where we can win it people...If we incarcerate most of the people who once worked jobs that were offshored, then we could utilize that labor to compete with China...

I have a great gulag archipelago scenario that will work out for everyone except for 90% of the populace

But still, even though immoral, my ideas should be considered because we have limited resources and although we don't offer any alternates to the current crisis, even though they do exist...I think we need to do what we can do with the information given to us by the authorities..

God, what BS...But whatever...The fucking MSM do it every day...with T.A. and a smile..

Of course there's Lauren Lyster where you get it all..Truth + TA....

Freebird's picture

All your freedoms belongs to us Bitchez

JLee2027's picture

As of 2008, an additional 5.1 MILLION people were on parole/probation. 1 in 45 adults needed "supervision". What a joke!


spinone's picture

So even though we imprison more people than any other country per capita, we haven't managed to jail one banker since 2008?  WTF!!!

dolph9's picture

I worked in a prison hospital as a resident.  God what a depressing place.  It was sad to see the guards (the vast majority of which were some of the most pathetic human specimens you could come across) lord it over the prisoners.  Some of whom were hardcore killers, but the majority of which were people who likely got caught up in events as teenagers and young adults and committed a minor drug crime or two, forever rendering them unemployable in Amerika.

Experiences like this convince me we are a sick, sick society.  Like many of you I speak based on experience, not based on paranoid whims.

DaveyJones's picture

Prisons are amazing places but, believe it or not, the local jails can be much worse. And this was with a "healthy" economy. Working in the industry, I have watched the already borderline quality slip away almost daily. The worst is our state mental health hospital where, due to funds, they are starting to release violent unstable people that even the insiders confess to me "should not be released." As you witnessed, their stay at the hotel only made them worse. I'm sure you're familiar with the Stanford Prison Experiment:   

Parrotile's picture

Been there too - one year in a Category C Institution in the UK. The standard of healthcare was actually VERY good, and generally the inmates left in better physical shape than when they came in (apart from the occasional deaths from natural (and on a few occasions, "not-so natural") causes).

Whilst (at that time) the morale in the UK NHS was pretty good, the morale in the Prison Medical Centre was amazing - a real "Happy Family" attitude, which translated to better care for all.

The only "bad experience" during my stint was us getting snowed in over one weekend - and with no t.v., and limited Internet (early days) it was cards or the radio.

Must say the Prison Officers were all pretty good too, which may have contributed a lot to the overall feeling of safety within the establishment.

Freebird's picture

Bankers are holy - you plebs are whitetrash or ghettoboys. Get with the program.

DaveyJones's picture

they are a lot like priests, at least bad priests - screwing our children and all

Lincolns Mullet's picture

Follow the money.  There is big business in imprisoning people.

DaveyJones's picture

nothing sums up the new prison industrial complex better than this story. A friend/judge's son did some of the federal investigation and questioning on this guy. I'd call him a psycho, but he only reflects the sick system we've erected.

quartshort's picture

Big business is imprisoning people.

Took a little liberty, hope you don't mind.

Rearranging Deckchairs's picture

I would love to see a side by side chart that would chart level of incarceration along with Math score ranking by country over time. I'll bet the math score rankings went down at the same time as our incarceration rate grew.

Catullus's picture

Houston has 2 million people? More like 5 million. And don't give me that metro Houston shit. That just doesn't make sense to anyone.

By the way, Houston is where the cop a guy in wheelchair who was threatening the officer with a pen. And just to show how winning the guy is, he shot another person. Serial killer on HPD, yet the DA has too much of a vagina to actually prosecute a cop.

sangell's picture

Once again ZeroHedge upholds its tradition of having the most worthless comments on the www.

Manic by Proxy's picture

So why add to it? (That feeling is the petard)

reader2010's picture

One of the greatest projects offering the best ROI is operating prisons.  You didn't know that?

Shizzmoney's picture

“The scope of things that are now criminal in corporate law is exponentially higher than it was merely twenty years ago.”

And there you have it.

On the bright side, we'll have a replacement for cheap labor (that, for $0.50/Hr, makes the furniture we get "at an everyday low price!") after the laborers riot in Communist China.

notquantumdum's picture

Who would have ever thought that the creator of Beavis and Butthead would apparently beat Matt Taibbi to the punch with creating the hilarious phrase, "pound me in the a$$ prison."

. . .

Could it be that our justice system catches more of the (defined) criminals?

Or, has more definitions of "crime?

Or, some terrible combination of both?

I don't know, I'm just asking the questions . . . to all those just about to type a histrionic response.

notquantumdum's picture

Or, just catches more of the criminals we would would mostly all want locked up?

I'm not so sure.

dexter_morgan's picture

And, we are the highest WITHOUT incarcerating the effing banksters and politicians that are the largest criminal element in our society! Amazing.

notquantumdum's picture

Population-wise, they may not be very many of us despite how ever much harm they do.

Monedas's picture

Minimum security Fed prisons are pretty nice !  Tax cheats mostly, good card games, fewer ass raping monkeys .... a higher class of guest !  Good libraries and salad bars ! Lompoc gets good marks !  Nice climate and ICBM contrails in the sunset !

Mercury's picture

Not a bad retirement plan these days considering some of the alternatives.  The key is fine-tuning your crime (not too serious) and influencing whatever you can to make sure you end up in the right place.

Fortunately almost everything is illegal these days in some way, shape or form so there is quite a menu to choose from.

How long before legal practices/consultancies sprout up to service this demand?

notquantumdum's picture

i hope this is only a scary thought.

. . .

what a prospect!


Monedas's picture

Designer crimes are the key !    Lompoc has a nice "campus" with less security than LAX !   Prison staff got it good, too, and are more polite than TSA !   World class comfort and security ! Many people live worse on the outside !

BudFox2012's picture

The prison staff are pretty great, more like Sgt Schultz from Hogans Heros than real prison guards.

BudFox2012's picture

I'm just wondering if I'm better off committing a white collar crime now, turn myself in, and go to a minium security prison now, or should I wait until they take me to a FEMA camp in the future?

notquantumdum's picture

I'm sorry to mention it but, 30 minutes later, and I'm still laughing at this post.  Kudos , Bud.  'I hope.


Manic by Proxy's picture

But either way you could still arrange an occasional ass pounding, right? I am concerned that many or most FEMA camp inhabitants are....will be elderly. Their sense of fun and play may not be suitably frisky. Does this concern matter? Or shoud I just plan to beat off to my 2008 Obama "Change" poster?

notquantumdum's picture

how do i sign up to be a banker, again?

Monedas's picture

You'll learn from some of the sharpest fraudsters, scammers and Ponzi operators alive .... you'd have to go to Harvard to get a better education !  Christmas and Thanksgiving are celebrated more than in public ghetto schools .... kitchen is partially staffed by fellow prisoners .... fresh sheets, towels and pillow cases .... twice a week .... institutional grade toilet paper !

Monedas's picture

Think ZeroHedge summer camp ?   Downside .... your girlfriend will fuck your buddies and spend your gold on clothes !

notquantumdum's picture

Ok, Well that certainly closes the deal; where do I sign up?

atomicwasted's picture

Prison rape is a means of social control.  People's willingness to engage in civil disobedience, or disobey the gangsters in blue, is substantially reduced by the threat of going to pound you in the ass prison.  MLK would not be writing letters from Birmingham Jail today, and that is the way the PTB want it.

Motorhead's picture

Too many f'in lawyers don't help.

Stuck on Zero's picture

About 55% of those prisoners were born outside the United States.  About 25% are illegal aliens.  We should send them back to their home countries and then the chart will look more balanced.


old dude's picture

Other than Japan and South Korea, this chart only shows Europe and North America. Does anybody know what the ratio is in the rest of the world or China, Iran, Venezuela, North Korea and Russia?

Manic by Proxy's picture

You didn't build those prisons.

toomanyfakeconservatives's picture

Watch the ending scene of "Boiler Room" when they paddy wagons and prison buses pull up to the "JT Marlin" headquarters to arrest all the financial criminals. This will be happening on Wall Street and at the White House very soon.

bunnyswanson's picture

Oh really?  Should we just stand by and count on it?  Take your word for it?  Can you share a source?  I need some hope.