US Incarceration

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by dukebound85, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #1
    I was off browsing and got to looking at US incarceration rates and to put it mildly, was quite shocked

    For instance, "The United States has the highest documented incarceration rate in the world at 754 persons in prison or jail per 100,000 U.S. residents (as of 2008)."

    and

    "The United States has less than 5% of the world's population[27] and 23.4% of the world's prison population."

    These statements are taken from a wikipedia article.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prisons_in_the_United_States

    What does this tell us about our country? Why the vastly high rates? At any rate, thought may make for a good discussion
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #2
    In US you actually go to prison when you commit a crime. In here, criminals often get away with conditional discharge or short prison time. Heck, even our lifetime in prison is only 12 years! No matter what you do, you don't really get more than couple years. As a first timer, you get away with sitting 2/3 of the conviction.

    Last week I read an article about 15-year-old boy who was kidnapped and nearly killed (was assaulted for +24 hours with a baseball bat and then dumped to a trench in a bag). Guess what the crooks got? 6 years and 4 years for the other one.

    Seriously, I wouldn't mind a system like in US. Criminals need to be in prison and with prison I mean a prison, like Sona in Prison Break, not a freaking hotel like prisons are in here.
     
  3. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

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    #3
    Prison is generally ineffective at stopping criminals from continuing to commit crimes after prison, and costs a ton of money that could, say, be used for education in high crime areas. Mandatory minimum sentences help fill up the jails with people who are given a chance to meet bad people, not rehabilitated in any way and then sent back out to keep doing their thing. Jail time is appropriate for people whose behavior is truly incompatible with society, people who are violent and dangerous.
     
  4. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

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    #4
    Well what do you expect. Prisons here in America are big business and every empty cell is dollars lost.

    When prisons systems are traded on the stock market you have to wonder.
     
  5. SlovakApple macrumors 6502

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    #5
    I would agree with Hellhammer. It is not unusual that criminals get out after 2/3 time for good conduct (except in cases of serious crimes). The US does not mess with criminals and they get much higher punishments. At least that's what is the "popular" belief around here.
     
  6. steve2112 macrumors 68040

    steve2112

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    #6
    It's no wonder so many in the US are incarcerated when almost everything is illegal. Welcome to the "land of the free".
     
  7. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #7
    I had to wonder what the heck you were talking about. The U.S. is a model I can't believe anybody would want to duplicate. Then I saw the statistics for crime rates per capita [per 1,000 people]...
    1 Dominica – 114
    2 New Zealand – 106
    3 Finland – 102
    4 Denmark – 93
    5 Chile – 88
    6 United Kingdom – 86
    7 Montserrat – 80
    8 United States – 80
    9 Netherlands – 80
    10 South Africa – 77

    Looks like you folk do have a bit of a problem there. Just try to find a better way to deal with it than we do.
     
  8. chilipie macrumors 6502a

    chilipie

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    #8
    It's worth noting the caveat at the bottom of that list - "Crime statistics are often better indicators of prevalence of law enforcement and willingness to report crime, than actual prevalence." I know I'd feel a lot safer in New Zealand than I would in Yemen or Colombia.
     
  9. SandboxGeneral Moderator

    SandboxGeneral

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    #9
    Most local jails and state or federal prisons in the US are a joke to me. They usually all have cable TV, gyms and so forth. If a person is in prison, usually they deserve it and I don't think they should have all the nice amenities.

    Prison should be a deterrent to crime, not a "time-out." If the prison system still had mandatory hard labor, i.e. busting rocks with a sledgehammer, or had chain gangs etc..., fed them rice and fish heads, and had cold concrete cells with no comfortable living arrangements, maybe people would think more about what crime they are wanting to commit to.

    I like what that Arizona Sheriff is doing with his county jail. He puts them all in pink jump suits and puts them to work.

    This is controversial, but I think we should have more capital punishment for high crimes and perform them publicly for all to see. Hang them all on Main Street at noon and that would be a huge deterrent to crime.
     
  10. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

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    #10
    Deterrent to doing crimes or deterrent to getting caught. There's a big difference psychologically.
     
  11. Hellhammer, Dec 29, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2010

    Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #11
    {rant danger}

    It's not a surprise since punishments are so mild and prisons are like hotels. This "second chance" system doesn't work. They should make the prisons like hell so everyone would avoid going to prison like plague. That would make it cheap too. Bring back the death penalty as well. No need to spoon-feed a criminal for decades with tax payers' money when he deserves a bullet to his head.

    Hell, people even come from nearby countries (Russia, Estonia, Latvia...) to commit crimes in here so they can go to prison! Sure, why not. It's like a hotel for them. Free food, warm bed, roof on top of your head... That's ridiculous.

    Politicians are just retards. Something is missing between their ears. They always have to wait for something nasty to happen before they start to consider that is there something wrong with this and that law.

    1. It required two school shootings before they actually changed the gun law. Before you were able to get a gun with 30min tutorial.
    2. A year ago, an immigrant shot five people in a local supermarket. He had committed crimes in the past as well so legally he should have been banished. Nothing was done and here was the result...
    3. Last summer, a (former) prisoner for life shot three people in McDonald's drive-in. Guess what were his crimes in the past? One second degree murder and three first degree murders. Thanks to our lovely system, he was freed and was able to take lives from three other people. Plus, he will get fixed-period conviction from those second degree murders so within ten years, he'll be back on the streets taking more lives. Again, huge discussion was brought up but nothing has been changed. Politicians and "experts" just justified him being a "special case". I'm sure the families of the victims will appreciate that :rolleyes:

    Okay, these are just examples but they tell you how rotten our system is. I know crimes like that are more common in US but come on, we have only ~5.3 million inhabitants in here so there are huge things for us. Especially since most, if not all, of my examples could have been preempted with better jurisdiction.

    Lots of things are good here in Finland but I guess politicians just think everything is prefect because they don't feel the need to change things. Even if something nasty happens, they have their explanations. Of course, they do have time to raise their salaries annually, even though they are cutting expenses from every other segment :rolleyes:

    {rant danger over}

    That doesn't specify crimes. So much money is spent on tracking non-harmful crimes, such as speeding. People do trust the police as well so crimes are often reported as noted above. In murder statistics, Finland isn't that high and as we like alcohol, most of them are caused by the booze&knife combo (quarrel during night, both husband and wife are drunk, one of them gets the knife...)
     
  12. citizenzen, Dec 29, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2010

    citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #12
    And if we tortured prisoners, maybe people would think even more about what crime they are wanting to commit to.

    Man! Why haven't we thought of this before?! :rolleyes:


    See? HH would be all for it!

    One thing you'll notice from this list is that Islamic nations have far, far less crime than Scandinavian countries. Sounds like you'd support more Muslim influence.

    You don't need more prisons... just more Muslims.
     
  13. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #13
    The first comment speaks for itself:

    As noted above, those statistics don't actually tell the amount of crimes, just the ones that have been reported. In here, people actually report the crimes because the police may even solve the crime (or they just report it so they can get their money from insurance :p). I doubt you can even report a crime in a country like Yemen, let alone that someone would actually care about it.
     
  14. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #14
    I don't know... a little Sharia Law could be just what you're looking for.

    Cut off a few thieves hands...

    lash a few adulterers...

    Straighten your country right up.
     
  15. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #15
    An eye for an eye, I wouldn't mind. At least people would think twice before committing a crime. Though I know it won't happen. In here, criminals' rights are more important than actually punishing them.
     
  16. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #16
    What is your stance towards access to continuing education in prison?


    Lethal
     
  17. Dalton63841 macrumors 65816

    Dalton63841

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    #17
    Actually, depending on the offense, in America first time offenders often get probation, or if they do go to prison they serve 1/3 of their sentence. Obviously that is not the case for particularly heinous crimes, but it is the norm.
     
  18. SandboxGeneral Moderator

    SandboxGeneral

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    #18
    I have no objection to education but I feel it should be optional to the inmate and not paid for by tax dollars. Some other means to pay for should be found and I don't have an answer as to how.
     
  19. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #19
    Frankly, I'd be happy to think that my tax dollars were going to help a person possibly improve their life and avoid committing more crime and prison time. Probably some of the best tax dollars the government ever spent.
     
  20. KingYaba macrumors 68040

    KingYaba

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    #20
    I like that, too.
     
  21. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #21
    The rest of the prison systems is paid for w/taxes so why not education and why should be optional? I've read a number of studying linking education to criminal behavior and basically the more education one has the less likely one is to lead a life of crime. This goes for inmate education as well. An inmate that gets his GED is less likely to be a repeat offender than an inmate that doesn't. An inmate that gets a 2yr college degree is less likely to be a repeat offender than one that only got a GED. So on and so forth. If someone resorted to crime in part because a lack of education and marketable skills made them feel like they had little other choice how is breaking rocks for 10yrs going to help them get a job and be a contributing member of society when they get out? I'm all for part of prison being punitive but I also feel like rehabilitation should be attempted as well. We would've spent all that money housing the person for X number of years so I feel like it's just pissed away if we don't attempt to have someone leaving prison that can function and integrate back into society in a productive manor.


    I remember a few years ago reading about NY state pulling funds from public schools to go towards building new prisons. Talk about a self-fulfilling prophecy.


    Lethal
     
  22. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #22
    Yeah, crime in New Zealand has to be far lower than crime in South Africa. I know parts of New Zealand are pretty bad, but they aren't that bad.
     
  23. Apple OC macrumors 68040

    Apple OC

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    #23
    there are far too many Americans in jail for minor cannabis convictions.

    The US is much too strict when it comes to this. I Wonder what the real stats would be if cannabis was decriminalized? :cool:
     
  24. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #24
    They want the youth of America putting their collective noses to the wheel, not tuning-out like some 60's hippies.

    Cannabis is only a crime to the pyramid scheme that seems to be everywhere.
     

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  25. SandboxGeneral Moderator

    SandboxGeneral

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    #25
    I am a free man and have to pay for my education out of my own pocket; no tax dollars will pay for it. So why should a criminal get his education paid for by my tax dollars?
     

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