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Mass Incarceration: 21 Amazing Facts About America’s Obsession With Prison

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Michael Snyder of The American Dream blog,

Nobody in the world loves locking people behind bars as much as Americans do.  We have more people in prison than any other nation on the planet.  We also have a higher percentage of our population locked up than anyone else does by a very large margin.  But has all of this imprisonment actually made us safer?  Well, the last time I checked, crime was still wildly out of control in America and for the most recent year that we have numbers for violent crime was up 15 percent.  The number of people that we have locked up has quadrupled since 1980, but this is not solving any of our problems.  Clearly, what we are doing is not working.

Nobody wants more crime.  And it seems logical that locking more people up and keeping them in prison for longer terms would “clean up our streets” and make our communities safer.  But instead, we have spawned a “prison industrial complex” that costs taxpayers more than 60 billion dollars a year but that does very little to turn the lives of the men and women inside around.  The chart posted below is a bit old, but it shows that we have a massive problem with recidivism in this country…

Recidivism in the United States

So what should we do?

To keep people from committing the same crimes should we just lock them up even longer?

Should we penalize a young kid for the rest of his life for a non-violent mistake that he made when he was 19 years old?

Should we continue to tear apart families and communities just so that we can have the illusion of feeling a little bit safer?

Or could it be possible that there is a better way to deal with all of this crime?

The following are 21 amazing facts about America’s obsession with prison…

#1 There are more than 2.4 million people behind bars in America as you read this article.

#2 Since 1980, the number of people incarcerated in U.S. prisons has quadrupled.

#3 The incarceration rate in the United States is more than 4 times higher than the incarceration rate in the UK and more than 6 times higher than the incarceration rate in Canada.

#4 Approximately 12 million people cycle through local jails in the U.S. each and every year.

#5 Overall, the United States has the largest prison population and the highest incarceration rate in the entire world.

#6 Approximately one out of every four prisoners on the entire planet are in U.S. prisons, but the United States only accounts for about five percent of the total global population.

#7 The state of Maryland (total population 5.9 million) has more people in prison than Iraq (total population 31.9 million).

#8 The state of Ohio (total population 11.6 million) has more people in prison than Pakistan (total population 192.1 million).

#9 Incredibly, 41 percent of all young people in America have been arrested by the time they turn 23.

#10 Between 1990 and 2009 the number of Americans in private prisons increased by about 1600 percent.

#11 At this point, private prison companies operate more than 50 percent of all “youth correctional facilities” in this nation.

#12 There are more African-Americans under “correctional supervision” right now than were in slavery in the United States in 1850.

#13 Approximately 90 percent of those being held in prisons in the United States are men.

#14 The incarceration rate for African-American men is more than 6 times higher than it is for white men.

#15 An astounding 37.2 percent of African-American men from age 20 to age 34 with less than a high school education were incarcerated in 2008.

#16 Police in New York City conducted nearly 700,000 “stop-and-frisk searches” in 2011 alone.

#17 The “SWATification” of America has gotten completely and totally out of control.  Back in 1980, there were only about 3,000 SWAT raids in the United States for the entire year.  Today, there are more than 80,000 SWAT raids in the United States every single year.

#18 Illegal immigrants make up approximately 30 percent of the total population in our federal, state and local prisons.

#19 The average “minimum security” inmate in federal prison costs U.S. taxpayers $21,000 a year.

#20 The average “maximum security” inmate in federal prison costs U.S. taxpayers $33,000 a year.

#21 Overall, it costs more than 60 billion dollars a year to keep all of these people locked up.

And it certainly does not help that we treat ex-cons as pariahs once they leave prison.

Most people will not hire them, and in many cases public assistance is not available to them.  Often their wives and families have abandoned them, and they have no roots in their communities after being away for so long.  Without any options, it is really easy for many of them to fall back into crime.  And that is the last thing that we should want to see happen.

It is almost as if we give up on someone once that person is convicted of a felony.  We want criminals locked up for as long as possible, and then once they get out we make it extremely difficult for them to reintegrate into society.

Without a doubt, there are a lot of really bad people locked up in our prisons.  And criminals should be punished for their crimes.  But there are also a whole lot of people that made one stupid mistake when they were young, and there are also a whole lot of people that do not deserve to be there at all.


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Mon, 07/28/2014 - 19:24 | 5015080 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

Corporate prisons are training grounds for new criminals and recruitment centers for gangs.

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 19:29 | 5015093 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

Hmmm.   Is that what happened to Corzine?

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 19:34 | 5015106 zaphod
zaphod's picture

I am beginning to wonder if the US is increasing the prison population simply to have a ready pool of men to force/draft into the army for the US's next hot war. Something tells me much of the country will balk at being drafted to go fight Putin in some far off land just to enrich our feudal lord banker/politician class, and so an alternative pool of people needs to be ready. 

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 19:49 | 5015140 samsara
samsara's picture

It wasn't that goal, Read my post above.

It was just a possible by product

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 19:53 | 5015155 max2205
max2205's picture

Finally, I get to read a fucking list today

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 20:31 | 5015251 tickhound
tickhound's picture

It's a nice list but they're really just 21 Reasons to be Bullish about the Prison Industry.

Point by point would be an incredible showcase to any well run business with a ton of growth potential.

#10 might as well say since 1990 the number of MAC users has increased 1600%.

#13 could say since 90% of users or male, analysts predict increased growth opportunity once the business begins to tap the female market.

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 20:55 | 5015346 Drunk In Church
Drunk In Church's picture

Ths is all about our stupid drug laws.  Time to legalize.  Bitchez.

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 21:57 | 5015629 economics9698
economics9698's picture

The prison population quadrupled when welfare made having a dad in the home for the poor obsolete.

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 21:58 | 5015638 Talleyrand
Talleyrand's picture

Not likely. Too much money to be made from illegal cops, judges, lawyers, importers (drug cartels), and, of course, Corrections Corporation of America, et al. More laws, more money to be made by all the wrong people.

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 22:33 | 5015793 benb
benb's picture

Lock the government up.

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 19:59 | 5015165 tickhound
tickhound's picture

You hit on it all right there.

Corzine is worth more outside of prison. The other millions we lock up are worth their $billions behind bars.

It's a $75+ billion industry... larger than the GDP of most other nations. That's why we call it The Prison "Industry."

Its goal is to profit from locking people up, filling beds and meeting quotas. They lobby hard for laws and sentencing. And they're good at it. For the mainstream monetarists to call it unsuccessful would be hypocritical.

Its hardly different than most corporate giants, and benefits from having solid inventory controls. Like any good driving range it benefits from balls coming back.

The number crunchers for these outfits aren't trying to lower the return rate of its clientele. They have a reincarceration "use by date" like any other grocery food, or pre-planned obsolesced object that the very business counts on, and budgets around.

It's the MIC complete with false flags too and created enemies it benefits from. It's a job creator. Too big to fail.

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 20:34 | 5015222 lesterbegood
lesterbegood's picture goes even further. The court case is securitized with a CUSPID number and sold. This particular criminal enterprise is run out of the Dallas Fed as the Court Registry Investment System, managed by JPM. The loot from this racket funds the salaries and pensions of clerks and judges. So much for 'justice'. The prisoners labor is bonded and sold. Many prisons in this country are privately owned (CCA & Wackenhut). Dick 'Darth' Cheney is a big stockholder in CCA.

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 20:41 | 5015300 ugmug
ugmug's picture

'Nobody in the world loves locking people behind bars as much as Americans do.  We have more people in prison than any other nation on the planet.  We also have a higher percentage of our population locked up than anyone else does by a very large margin.  But has all of this imprisonment actually made us safer?  '

This ASSHOLE has never lived next to criminals. I'd love to drive this shithead into the middle of a ghetto and drop him off in front of a Muslim deli where there are hords of lovable innocent criminals all ready to hug his ass and fuck it at the same time. I hope these animals go roaming throughout the suburbs when society all goes to the dogs. They'll rape you, your family, your pets, and the mailbox....

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 21:34 | 5015524 Seek_Truth
Seek_Truth's picture

Why is that?
Because bleeding heart liberals think that murderers rapists and pedophiles can be "rehabilitated".
They can't.
And they are against the death penalty.
They're wrong.
Every convicted murderer, rapist and pedophile should be terminated immediately. If there is any doubt, then life in prison with zero chance f parole.

I'd add gang members to the above list, and yes I would gladly pull the trigger and volunteer my time to do so.

While I'm on a roll, I'd decriminalize every drug, while enforcing the law on robbery, burglary, theft, etc- equally for sober, drunk, and drugged up offenders.

Prisoners should be forced to work an eight hour day, 6 days a week.

Let them eat the least costly foods that sustain life.

And Watch repeat offenders disappear.

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 22:53 | 5015906 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

I can agree with this. I would also eliminate prison time for victimless crimes. I think everyone has one mistake in their life and if it weren't a violent crime I'd be naturally more lenient. However, repeat offenders are the costliest bunch.

Every business when faced with increased costs looks at outsourcing or subcontracting. We seem to have a cost containment problem in the USA so why not allow other countries to bid on housing our criminals? I'm sure most would jump at 10K a year/ prisoner. A windfall to one nation and a substantial cost savings for us. Perhaps a year in a Turkish jail would make the career criminal more amiable to changing his ways? They could watch Midnight Express on the journey over.

I guess I'm not considering the cruel and unusual punishment aspect of this policy. However, I do think if prison were really a terrible place as in many third world countries, more people would make a stronger effort to avoid it.


Mon, 07/28/2014 - 19:30 | 5015095 Escrava Isaura
Escrava Isaura's picture

Wrong! Corporate prisons are part of the service economy.

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 19:36 | 5015109 samsara
samsara's picture

Two, two mints in one...

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 19:56 | 5015167 Antifaschistische
Antifaschistische's picture

 watch an episode of COPS.

"I'm sorry ma'am, we must arrest you because you scratched your husband"

"I'm sorry, we must arrest you because I found the little itty bitty bag of marijuana in your car"

"I'm sorry, what is this....paraphanalia!!"

It a money machine...from bail, to court fees, to fines....the county court systems are just a money machine.

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 20:21 | 5015225 samsara
samsara's picture

""'Did you really think that we want those laws to be observed?' said Dr. Ferris. 'We want them broken. You'd better get it straight that it's not a bunch of boy scouts you're up against - then you'll know that this is not the age for beautiful gestures. We're after power and we mean it. You fellows were pikers, but we know the real trick, and you'd better get wise to it.
There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible

for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted - and you create a nation of law-breakers - and then you cash in on guilt. Now, that's the system, Mr. Rearden,

that's the game, and once you understand it, you'll be much easier to deal with.'"

Ayn Rand ('Atlas Shrugged' 1957

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 20:41 | 5015301 Escrava Isaura
Escrava Isaura's picture

“Watch an episode of COPS.”

Sorry faschist, I don't own a TV.

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 22:53 | 5015904 Slave
Slave's picture

Do you own a gun? Please shoot yourself with it.

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 19:28 | 5015090 Blue Dog
Blue Dog's picture

We're a lot safer today in states where criminals are locked up. We're a lot less safe in liberal states where criminals aren't locked up. And don't give me that crap about corporate prisons. Private prisons are a lot cheaper than prisons run by state government employees.

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 19:44 | 5015127 Jayda1850
Jayda1850's picture

Can't speak for state, but I would say close to 50% of people in the federal system are in for victimless crimes, unless you can view the government as the victim. We are taught as a society to look down on cons and ex-cons, but, if some are fighting the same system we all rail against daily, why should they be looked down upon. If you want to find true revolutionaries, look no further than individuals who have been robbed of their freedom for standing up to a corrupt government.

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 19:47 | 5015135 samsara
samsara's picture

Do a little bit of reading of how it started.

Cathrine Austin Fitts does a great job with the chronology.

(At bottoms of page, use Next button)

"Whether through subsidy, credit and asset forfeiture kickbacks to state and local government or increased laws, regulations and federal sentencing and imprisonment, the supremacy of the federal enforcement infrastructure and the industry it feeds was to be a Clinton legacy."

Nice picture of Jamie btw.

"Jamie Gorelick, Harvard trained Deputy Attorney General, 1994-97, credited with making private Federal prisons a reality. "

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 20:10 | 5015196 Escrava Isaura
Escrava Isaura's picture

Blue Dog,

All the indoctrinated puppets are giving the right to sound stupid. That’s too bad that you abuse of that privilege.

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 20:51 | 5015333 Alex DeLarge
Alex DeLarge's picture

 Congratulations. You are my first ever down vote. How's it feel to be a tool?

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 21:14 | 5015434 yogibear
yogibear's picture

"in liberal states where criminals aren't locked up." 

Their in office runnning the government.

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 19:32 | 5015098 BeetleBailey
BeetleBailey's picture

I "love" the fucksticks that say we're safer with more people locked up.

Prove it - and stop using the biased bullshit that is cranked out by the prison industrial complex.

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 19:44 | 5015123 RiderOnTheStorm
RiderOnTheStorm's picture

I'd feel safer with you locked up!

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 20:21 | 5015226 chunga
chunga's picture

Just another racket.

From Dmitry Orlov's "Reinventing Collapse".

"Those who bemoan the out-of-control American criminal justice system would like to find ways to make it more effective. But perhaps the real problem is that it is too effective, and needs to become much less so. It is obvious that the jails race serves the purposes of the law enforcement class, providing them with employment, status and ample funds. But it bears pointing out that it serves the interests of the criminal class even better. The prison system offers many services to criminals: it allows them to congregate, network and hold seminars on the finer points of criminal technique and new ways to commit bigger and better crimes without getting caught. Furthermore, it gives criminals a periodic sabbatical, making room for two million more criminals than the victim population could otherwise sustain, ensuring that whenever there arises a fruitful opportunity to commit a crime, an ample supply of well-rested and highly trained specialists is available to make use of it."


"Whereas the Nazis had to tattoo identification numbers on their concentration camp victims, Americans now have access to more modern technology, such as implantable radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags, biometric and face-recognition systems, satellite surveillance, ubiquitous surveillance cameras and globally networked databases. These can theoretically enable the United States to turn much of the planet into a single large Gulag, or at least to overextend itself and collapse while trying. This trend is currently being exemplified by the State of California, which by itself has the third largest incarceration system in the world. It is going bankrupt, forcing it to parole tens of thousands of inmates. This strategy is encountering diminishing returns, because the recidivism rate is 70 percent, making California law enforcement akin to sport fishing, but in reverse: instead of “catch and release,” it keeps the fish in a fish tank and, for something to do, practices “release and catch.” In spite of massive prison overcrowding, the inmates keep coming back for more: life on the inside may be a bit confining but it is generally carefree, while life on the outside may be exciting for a time but is fraught with difficulties and temptations, and so the inmates struggle to find a life-jail balance."



Orlov, Dmitry (2011-05-31). Reinventing Collapse: The Soviet Experience and American Prospects (Kindle Locations 970-979). Perseus Books Group. Kindle Edition.

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 01:36 | 5015902 Radical Marijuana
Radical Marijuana's picture

I believe it is crucial to the prison problem that the biggest gangsters are the banksters. The government of the USA has become the biggest criminal organization in the world, which is controlled by the best organized gang of criminals. Therefore, that cascaded down throughout all the lower levels of society, fractally amplifying itself, over and over.

The war on drugs, like the war on terror, were deliberately started by the ruling classes in order to become self-fulfilling prophesies. What actually happened was what was actually intended to happen. The war on drugs was primarily the war against marijuana, which was totally based on huge lies, backed by lots of violence, which fed things like the development of the drug cartels. The war on terror was similarly jump started by the inside job, false flag attacks on 9/11/2001. Nothing has changed in society being controlled by deceits backed by destruction for thousands of years, EXCEPT for the industrial revolutions and more recent technical scientific development of that magnifying the basic social pyramid systems by many orders of magnitude.

America is demonstrating what happens when the biggest bullies control society through their bullshit more and more, for longer and longer. America has developed a corporate culture of organized crime, from the top down, for at least a Century, getting worse at an exponential rate. Furthermore, all of the older problems, with respect to the history of slavery, and the genocide of the natives, never went away, but rather, were merely more of the same thing, even worse, as one goes back in time.

The fundamental problem, in my opinion, is that we are taught to approach all these issues by thinking about them in a way which is almost totally opposite and backwards to reality. The biggest bullies' impossible ideals are intended to cause the opposite to happen in the real world, while those in the controlled opposition who continue to promote those impossible ideals are components of that overall social system.

There is no apparent limit to how much worse this pattern is going to become, as it amplifies and repeats itself fractally, on every level, cascading through to cause ever worse manifestations of what is happening, since America has become almost 100% based on legalized lies, backed by legalized violence, which system can never make those lies become true, but only constantly drive civilization to become crazier and crazier ... with no end in sight that I can currently perceive. The only thing which exceeds the apparently irreconcilable social polarization is the irreparable destruction of the natural world.

There is no way to exaggerate the degrees to which the death controls operated by America are based on the maximum possible deceits, which are backed by destruction, which automatically become more psychotically insane, due to the paradoxical problem that being able to back up dishonesty with violence can never make those lies become true, but nevertheless can result in that society being more and more dominated by those lies, so that society behaves in more madly self-destructive ways.

Similarly, there is no way to exaggerate the degrees to which the debt controls operated in America are based on the maximum possible enforced frauds, which returns to my original point about, that the biggest gangsters are the banksters, who dominated the political processes through applying the methods of organized crime, in order to create the basic systems of DEBT SLAVERY, BACKED BY WARS BASED ON DECEITS.

The previous Century has been the exponential development of the domination of American by organized crime, from the top down, through and through, constantly becoming crazier, and more vicious, as that pattern fractally reproduced itself. Meanwhile, the controlled opposition to that established system of triumphant organized crime (whereby the government became the biggest form of organized crime, controlled by the best organized gang of criminals), fed every other level of organized crime, within that social pyramid system, repeating itself again and again, while its lies were different at every level.

Meanwhile, the controlled opposition groups to the established systems of that runaway fascist plutocracy juggernaut building a fascist police state continue to operate within the same frame of reference of asserting false fundamental dichotomies, and therefore, proposing bogus "solutions" based on impossible ideals, which continue to actually make the opposite happen in the real world, and therefore, AROUND AND AROUND WE WENT IN VICIOUS SPIRALS, TOWARDS SEVERE SOCIAL STORMS.

I would suggest that the only theoretically genuine solutions would take a series of political miracles, primarily in the form of intellectual scientific revolutions, whereby enough people understood how human systems operate as general energy systems. When one does that, then one better understands how and why the principles and methods of organized crime are the best descriptions of how human realities are always organized lies operating robberies.

Indeed, I would say that we should "reinvent collapse." We should go through the looking glass of our Bizarro Mirror World, because the only way to understand the ridiculous runaway American prison system is to understand that the government is the biggest form of organized crime, controlled by the best organized gang of criminals, which must necessarily be the way that the real world actually works, due to how general energy system laws manifest through human civilizations.

Better resolutions of the chronic political problems should be based upon better understanding of those problems, which enabled us to develop better dynamic equilibria between the different systems of organized lies operating robberies. A more scientific view of society would recognize that organized crime is a form of government, while government is a form or organized crime. A more scientific society, that paid attention to rational evidence and logical arguments, would have to bulldoze out of the way all of the biggest bullies' bullshit social stories that dominate things today, in order to start doing things that worked, in deep enough ways to understand how to operate better death controls to back up better debt controls.

The more that we fail to do that, but rather, continue to believe in the biggest bullies' bullshit social stories, such as believe in the banksters' bullshit about the economy, etc., then the worse our responses to the our problems will continue to become. Of course, from a practical political point of view, I do not expect anything else to happen but that runaway madness, wherein absurd state religions, such as the "money" system, and "national security" system, continue to be based on the maximum possible frauds and deceits, fractally reproducing and repeating themselves through and through, in the same ways which get exponentially worse, as they have been doing ...

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 01:13 | 5016230 benb
benb's picture

Great assessment. We might also include the fact that the Global Gansters who control the government also run the heroin (Through the U.S. Army) and cocaine (Through the C.I.A.) so they profit every which way while destroying the United States of America. R.I.P.

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 19:33 | 5015102 samsara
samsara's picture

"Nobody in the world loves locking people behind bars as much as Americans do...."

"Nowhere do corporations make as much money locking people up as in the US."

There, fixed for ya

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 19:35 | 5015107 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

We're all prisoners now..........

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 19:45 | 5015130 nmewn
nmewn's picture

...yes, even the guards who rely on moar meat to order about for their salary & pensions.

Stalin would be proud ;-)


Tue, 07/29/2014 - 04:33 | 5016689 Freewheelin Franklin
Freewheelin Franklin's picture

All your prisons are belong to us.

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 19:42 | 5015120 RiderOnTheStorm
RiderOnTheStorm's picture

Obama should close all the prisions and enlist all the prisioners as Boarder Patrol Agents.  My hunch is that most of them would flee into Mexico, thus creating a sort of "equilibrium" with the criminals coming in.

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 19:49 | 5015139 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

That's just fucked up enough to work pretty well in the new normal, and plenty of them would be too stupid to realize they can't swim;)

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 19:45 | 5015129 One And Only
One And Only's picture

You can go to jail for having a plant. A plant that makes you happy.

What else is there to say?

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 19:47 | 5015136 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Amazing isn't it?

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 19:49 | 5015142 One And Only
Mon, 07/28/2014 - 19:58 | 5015172 nmewn
nmewn's picture


Take something natural & organic, find out what compounds produce the desired affect, chemically reproduce the natural, synthesize it, put it in a bottle, mark it up 500%.

And call it aspirin ;-)

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 19:51 | 5015144 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

But are you making the plant happy, and do you remember to call in the morning?

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 20:05 | 5015188 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Did you know that in certain regions of Mexico you do not speak & point at squash or it will die?

No, I'm being serious.

This chick that works with my wife married a Mex. She's old school southern and she did it in the home garden. The guy freaked out "Don't do that!"

Two days later, its dead...then she

I told my wife he poisoned it to make his point...the three of them aren't so sure but I am.

Kinda ;-)

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 21:35 | 5015526 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

The more I know about cultural diversity,

  the more I like dawgs.

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 19:50 | 5015146 KCMLO
KCMLO's picture

The US Pri$on fixation can yield some pretty strange bedfellows though.  For example, take drug legalization.  It has allowed cops, jailors, judges, and drug dealers to all come together and try to stop it.

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 19:54 | 5015162 max2205
max2205's picture

30% are illegals.... Soon to become citizens.....take that one off your stupid fucking list

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 20:07 | 5015191 mc888
mc888's picture

ship 'em all to afghanistan, one-way. "Here's your complimentary Snickers bar and AK-47. Have a nice life!"

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 20:52 | 5015336 Postal
Postal's picture

What did Afghanistan ever do to deserve that kind of treatment?

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 19:59 | 5015178 Againstthelie
Againstthelie's picture

Democracy. The land of the free...

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 20:18 | 5015215 vened
vened's picture

Slavery is legal in the US.  Just make up a crime (like smoking grass for example), bribe a couple of judges and cops, setup a couple of [private] prisons... and voila!  You own the slaves!

US Constitution Amendment 13 (Slavery abolishment supposedly)

Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.


Mon, 07/28/2014 - 20:19 | 5015220 My Days Are Get...
My Days Are Getting Fewer's picture

When I was young and naive, I was an Infantry Officer assigned to the FT Dix Stockade in 1967 - 68. The Major in command had the following sign installed above the entrance:




Photo posted on the Internet.

80% of the prisoners were guilty of running away from the Army - they were AWOL - and serving a 6 month sentence followed by a Bad Conduct Discharge.

So, as a jailer, I spent some 8 months in prison but on the other side of the bars.  Next stop for me was Vietnam.

The atmosphere in both places was surreal.

During my stay in prison, I decided to become a lawyer for "self-defense" purposes.  I somehow survived all of that and did become a lawyer.  But, to this day, I still can not figure out how to keep my freedom by obeying the law.

I wish all of your "good luck".


Mon, 07/28/2014 - 20:24 | 5015235 My Days Are Get...
Mon, 07/28/2014 - 20:24 | 5015237 kchrisc
kchrisc's picture

The American  people really need to realize that a choice is coming whether they like it or not: They can wither away in poverty and misery with everyday a fight to just survive or fight to take back the county, the American country, from these treasonous criminals and murderers.

The choice is coming: Persecution or Revolution.


The Four Rs
Rejection: Quit paying, quit obeying, quit playing
Revolution: It is inevitable, so prepare, as they are.
Retribution: The guilty must answer for their crimes against the American people and the Constitution.
Restoration: Restore the American people, country and Constitutional republic.

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 22:21 | 5015733 22winmag
22winmag's picture

I'll see you in the trenches and remember to bring my blade sharpeners.

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 23:37 | 5016088 kchrisc
kchrisc's picture

Trenches maybe, "blades of grass" definitely.

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 20:27 | 5015249 kareninca
kareninca's picture

Anyone who says that crime in the U.S. is presently out of control, doesn't remember the 1970s.

Well, financial crime is out of control these days.  But not regular crime.  I'm not saying things are all lovely, but just look at the stats!!!  A lot of it is demographic; there are far fewer young men now; an aging population produces fewer rapists and murderers.  A lot of it is lead abatement; there is a powerful connection between even low levels of exposure and aggression.  Some of it may be due to abortion; the Freakonomics writers claim that a lot of the drop in crime since the 70s is due to the most likely criminals having been aborted (no, I am not saying that is good!!! but it could still be a factor in crime rates)

And, some of it is due to the feminization of males via estrogen-like pollutants.  I saw a teenaged guy run into another teenaged guy on his bike last year.  As they got up, I expected the hit one (who was clearly in some pain) to at least swear at the idiot who rammed him.  Instead, I heard him say in a aggrieved voice, "Dude, you should be more careful."  At that moment I realized that I was living in a brave new world.

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 04:03 | 5016654 Aussiekiwi
Aussiekiwi's picture

correct, latest generation of young are addicted to their computers and seem to have lost something, I would not be surprised to find in idustrialised countries that testosterone levels are dropping.

With that comment I had a quick google search.

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 20:32 | 5015269 samsara
samsara's picture

We used to able to afford locking up both, Those we were afraid of (Murders, Father rapers, etc), And those we mad at(pot etc).

In the future, we will only afford locking up those we are afraid of.

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 20:49 | 5015328 robnume
robnume's picture

Privatizing prisons is the reason we have so many people incarcerated in the good ol' USSA. Prisons have to turn a profit these days and if you see a "Made in the USA" label on garments, etc., you might be astounded to know that prisoners are the ones who make these products at a wage of .93 cents an hour. Much of corporate Amerika is profiting wildly via corporate contracts with privatized prison corporations. This is slave labor, you know, like China.

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 03:57 | 5016647 Aussiekiwi
Aussiekiwi's picture

Prison America, everyone's guilty, you will all be working for 93 cents an hour, what do you think all those Executive orders and military equipment to local police forces is for, lol.......only kind of kidding.

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 21:26 | 5015487 NoWayJose
NoWayJose's picture

Mexico, Turkey, Vietnam, any African country, etc do not have prison problems because potential lawbreakers do NOT want to go to those hell holes. In the US you get clean sheets, three squares, TV, a workout gym, Internet, etc, etc.

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 21:44 | 5015563 Seek_Truth
Seek_Truth's picture

NoWayJose speaks the unadulterated truth ^^^^

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 22:27 | 5015754 mastersnark
mastersnark's picture


Felons are rational people you can convince to abstain from criminal activity by reasoning with them and/or threatening them with punishment.

Once they weigh the risk of going to a "hell hole" with committing robbery, or murder, or rape, they will naturally choose the optimal option for continued self improvement and continue their morning routine of getting ready for gainful employment.

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 22:46 | 5015871 Seek_Truth
Seek_Truth's picture

For those who will think twice, there's hellholes.

For those who won't, a bullet in the head.


Tue, 07/29/2014 - 03:54 | 5016644 Aussiekiwi
Aussiekiwi's picture

Amazing how people immediately pull out the minority prisoners to make a point rather than the vast majority,murderers and rapists, lol. The vast majority of prisoners are incarcerated for non violent offenses. 

Unfortunately because of this, they lose jobs, families,friends and then find to survive in prison they have to become violent, join a gang, carry out various activities they never dreamed they would do on the outside.


Then we release these bitter, angry, chip on their shoulder people out into society, with the warning, 'be good' it does not take them long to realise there is no employment for them ever again, doors close everywhere they turn, not surprising so many end up committing crime to make ends meet, the system is setup for them to fail I need to stress for the red necks, I am talking about people convicted of non violent offenses of a minor nature which make up the majority of prisoners before some moron accuses me of being soft on murderers.

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 09:25 | 5017224 mastersnark
mastersnark's picture

I see the residents of the Penal Colony have yet to learn about "sarcasm."

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 21:33 | 5015516 bilejones
bilejones's picture

All this goes back to the 60's and 70's,

The Jigs with their inner city riots posed a serious threat to the established Elite.

The war on drugs, fueled by CIA provided drugs, soon solved that.

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 21:41 | 5015534 potato
potato's picture

State-sponsored indoctrination (schools) is the source of young people who think the status quo and the government is OK and moral. It molds youth who have nothing better to do than become police or jailers and live by force instead of being productive.

My vision is that with the internet, more people are getting easy access to the truth and the philosophy of liberty spreads. 

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 22:02 | 5015658 q99x2
q99x2's picture

Blankfein, Dimon, Greenspan, Geitner and Bernanke missed their calling.

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 22:08 | 5015683 22winmag
22winmag's picture

Mr. Snyder, you're an expert at preaching to the choir.

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 22:20 | 5015729 mastersnark
mastersnark's picture

I feel much safer knowing there are millions of people that will forever be treated as outcasts and never allowed an equal opportunity to participate in society.

There is exactly no downside to that penal model.

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 23:11 | 5015880 Seek_Truth
Seek_Truth's picture

Boo hoo. Why don't you invite them to live with you? Surely you can straighten them out.

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 23:02 | 5015945 SurlysonofaBitch
SurlysonofaBitch's picture

The state of Maryland (total population 5.9 million) has more people in prison than Iraq (total population 31.9 million)


Maybe if Iraq developed an "obsession" with prison as well, it wouldn't be in Chaos. 

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 00:23 | 5016259 GoldenDonuts
GoldenDonuts's picture

1. Enable and encourage fathers to be more than a wallet in their son's life.

2  Start worrying about the welfare and education of young men as much as you worry about the welfare and education of young women.

3. Encourage young men to want to be more than a sports hero or video game expert.

4. Stop rewarding stupid single teenage moms for popping out future felons.

5. Change divorce and custody laws and enforce them on men AND WOMEN.

6. Actually apply the constitution and become a nation of laws again.  Back away from the Mad Max facism that seems to be in vogue.

7. Treat the people who are in prison now like human beings and try rehabilitation rather than just punishment 

8. Legalize and heavily tax all drugs.  The drug war is not working anyway and at least users would buy a safer product and contribute to the coffers rather than be a cost.

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 08:32 | 5017030 plane jain
plane jain's picture

With you on all but #4.

AFAIK single teenage moms are not rewarded for having babies.  There are some benefits like WIC and subsidised childcare but that is more about the child than the mother.  The babies are blameless.  

OTOH I would be fine with encouraging more adoption.  Had a baby as a teen?  Put the child up for adoption and get money for job training/education paid directly to the school.  Could be paid by the adoptive parents, cash for kids.  Isn't like adoptive parents aren't shelling out anyway when they get babies from overseas.  Better for the mom, better for the baby, long term better for society if the mom can work and support herself.

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 00:24 | 5016260 Aussiekiwi
Aussiekiwi's picture

Makes the US seem like really nice place to visit, its not only the criminals you have to be wary of its the Police.

I think I will pass on holidaying in the US and go somewhere nice instead, pity, colleague at work did the US recently and stated that the people in the US generally and especially New York were the nicest people he had ever met anywhere, what the Feck !, that really surprised me.

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 00:35 | 5016311 butchtrucks
butchtrucks's picture

Everything going according to plan. The prison industry complex is one of the fastest-growing industries in the United States and its investors are on Wall Street.

The private contracting of prisoners for work fosters incentives to lock people up. Prisons depend on this income. Corporate stockholders who make money off prisoners’ work lobby for longer sentences, in order to expand their workforce. The system feeds itself.

Who is investing? At least 37 states have legalized the contracting of prison labor by private corporations that mount their operations inside state prisons. The list of such companies contains the cream of U.S. corporate society: IBM, Boeing, Motorola, Microsoft, AT&T, Wireless, Texas Instrument, Dell, Compaq, Honeywell, Hewlett-Packard, Nortel, Lucent Technologies, 3Com, Intel, Northern Telecom, TWA, Nordstrom’s, Revlon, Macy’s, Pierre Cardin, Target Stores, and many more. All of these businesses are excited about the economic boom generation by prison labor. Just between 1980 and 1994, profits went up from $392 million to $1.31 billion. Inmates in state penitentiaries generally receive the minimum wage for their work, but not all; in Colorado, they get about $2 per hour, well under the minimum. And in privately-run prisons, they receive as little as 17 cents per hour for a maximum of six hours a day, the equivalent of $20 per month. The highest-paying private prison is CCA in Tennessee, where prisoners receive 50 cents per hour for what they call “highly skilled positions.” At those rates, it is no surprise that inmates find the pay in federal prisons to be very generous. There, they can earn $1.25 an hour and work eight hours a day, and sometimes overtime. They can send home $200-$300 per month.

Thanks to prison labor, the United States is once again an attractive location for investment in work that was designed for Third World labor markets. A company that operated an assembly plant in Mexico  closed down its operations there and relocated to San Quentin State Prison in California. In Texas, a factory fired its 150 workers and contracted the services of prisoner-workers from the private Lockhart Texas prison, where circuit boards are assembled for companies like IBM and Compaq.

Former Oregon State Representative Kevin Mannix recently urged Nike to cut its production in Indonesia and bring it to his state, telling the shoe manufacturer that “there won’t be any transportation costs; we’re offering you competitive prison labor here.”

Private prisons are the biggest business in the prison industry complex. About 18 corporations guard 10,000 prisoners in 27 states. The two largest are Correctional Corporation of America (CCA) and Wackenhut, which together control 75%. Private prisons receive a guaranteed amount of money for each prisoner, independent of what it costs to maintain each one. According to Russell Boraas, a private prison administrator in Virginia, “the secret to low operating costs is having a minimal number of guards for the maximum number of prisoners.” The CCA has an ultra-modern prison in Lawrenceville, Virginia, where five guards on dayshift and two at night watch over 750 prisoners. In these prisons, inmates may get their sentences reduced for “good behavior,” but for any infraction, they get 30 days added – which means more profits for CCA. According to a study of New Mexico prisons, it was found that CCA inmates lost “good behavior time” at a rate eight times higher than those in state prisons.

Way to go USA!  Love it or leave it.



Tue, 07/29/2014 - 06:28 | 5016802 Raoul_Luke
Raoul_Luke's picture

We have a problem with recidivism because our prisons operate like crime schools.  Young kids go in for some non-violent infraction, are constantly victimized by the hardened criminal core population, and come out with better crime skills and a worse attitude.  Nobody should do time for a non-violent crime - NOBODY!  And those who are incarcerated should do their time in solitary confinement so they cannot prey upon others and/or learn more serious crime skills from the other inmates (especially if they are eventually going to be released).

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 07:51 | 5016937 daemon
daemon's picture
"Mass Incarceration"

The land of the free.

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 10:40 | 5017593 idahosinker
idahosinker's picture

My family has personally been sucked into the system. My son was busted with 2 grams, not Oz of dope. 15 years, served 4 months and on probation. $5000 fine, felony, $110 month probation fee. A guy got a gal coming out of a bar to get on his bike. drove her out to the desert and raped her. The then choked her. They founded her hysterical and naked wondering down a road at night. He gets 1 year in the join, 3 years probation. She is freaked out. I am sure that he won't do it again. My son had his first grand mal seizure at a intersection. he was driving himself to the hospital because of dizzy spells. He has no memory of anything. The hospital had him for over 5 hours in the ER. He lives a block from the hospital. The hospital finally calls his wife. It happened at 1400hrs. Its now 1900 hrs when we get there. We are treated like lepers. His head is twice its size on one side. His hands are twice there normal size. We can't see until later the boot prints on his back and all the other damage from the cops playing soccer with him. I guess the female cop did most of the damage. We didn't find out for two days what happened from the witness. The medics were the first there. They had him on a gurney. The cops took him off, he having a seizure fought back. The resisting arrest. Just what most chick cops ( raised next to a Nuc plant) want, with 3 guy to hold him. We had all kinds of witnesses. Hired a lawyer. Next thing, FBI, DHS show up at his door. Want to Fuck with some low IQ local cops. You should have seen the DA that did my son. She was a twin sister of the cop raised next to the power plant. I mean tritium gas and iodine 131 can make some spooky looking bipeds. Lawyer told us you will never win in Idaho. I guess we were lucky, unlike Randy Weaver, and those 25 babies burned to death in Waco. I bet most of those FBI types, all have a CD of the recording of them burning to death. I remember living the DC area when they were doing 650 murders a year in a city of 650,000. They would let the murderers out of prisons on the weekends. One raped a 12 year old girl and then murdered her. The place was one 100% run by negro people. Trained buy white liberal fuckhead shrinks.

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 11:55 | 5018023 PiratePiggy
PiratePiggy's picture

Two points:

1.) Very hard to get any kind of job with a criminal record.

2.) In the good old USA traffic offenses are crimes rather than civil matters.

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 12:00 | 5018050 PiratePiggy
PiratePiggy's picture

Point of clarification: traffic offenses means driving offenses rather than drug trafficing (also a crime).  These traffic offenses are crimes (misdomeanors):


  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs,
  • Failing to stop at the scene of an accident,
  • Driving without a valid driver's license,
  • Driving without insurance, and
  • Reckless driving.
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