1 in 136 U.S. Residents Behind Bars
Let those numbers sink in for a minute. 1 in 136. According to government statistics, roughly 2.2 million U.S. residents were in prisons and jails last summer. It’s by far the highest per capita rate of any country in the world. And it’s mostly due to our unforgivably barbaric drug policies.
WASHINGTON – Prisons and jails added more than 1,000 inmates each week for a year, putting almost 2.2 million people, or one in every 136 U.S. residents, behind bars by last summer.
The total on June 30, 2005, was 56,428 more than at the same time in 2004, the government reported Sunday. That 2.6 percent increase from mid-2004 to mid-2005 translates into a weekly rise of 1,085 inmates.
Of particular note was the gain of 33,539 inmates in jails, the largest increase since 1997, researcher Allen J. Beck said. That was a 4.7 percent growth rate, compared with a 1.6 percent increase in people held in state and federal prisons.