Incarcerations, prisons, the tax payer rip-off & a low cost alternative
We seem to have a culture in this country regarding incarceration that is at odds with the rest of the civilized world and the tax payer is the real victim.
I would not argue that we are too tough of serious crimes. In fact I would argue just the opposite. My opinion is that we are too soft on serious crimes like murder, rape, child abuse, sex offenders, armed robbery, etc.
Let’s take a look at a few facts: The U.S. has by far the highest incarceration rate of any of the 1st world countries at 707 per 100,000 and this does not include juvenile stats. When they are added it means that we incarcerate just under 1% of our population! As a comparison take a look at some others.
England 148 Belgium 108 Canada 118 France 103 Iceland 47 Japan 51 Germany 78 Italy 100 Greece 120 Switzerland 87 Netherlands 82 New Zealand 183 Sweden 60 Australia 143 Austria 98 Norway 72
The bottom line is that while the U.S. has only has 4.4% of the world’s population we pay to incarcerate almost 25% of the total world’s inmates!
Based on the above you might think the U.S. is, as a result, a much safer place to reside and of course you would be wrong. Again, our country does not even make the top 10! Any idea which country heads the list? Would you believe the country with the lowest incarceration rate? Yep, it is Iceland!
1 # which is the safest country in the world 2015 – Iceland
Source for above: http://www.presscave.com/top-safest-countries-in-the-world/
Ok, what do you suspect is the problem here? In a recent community meeting we were addressed by a retired prison warden. He indicated that the issue is not with the folks running the prisons as most of them understand the problem and the solutions. He indicated that it really is a political issue where it is popular, as a politician, to appear to be “tough” on crime. It is a tried a true formula for electability. Thus, the system of laws and policies are the real culprit. Any attempt to modify them by a representative might well paint that person as “weak” on crime. This presenter’s statement is that we need to stop incarcerating folks that we are “mad” at and focus and those that we are afraid of (please pardon the dangling participles!)
stay tuned next week on more on this