The United States of America, home of the brave and land of the free!
Ahhh, I don't know about the brave part but it sure as hell ain't the "land of the free!"
At this writing there are about 2 1/4 million people in prisons and jails across the United states which means about one in every 150 people. This, my friends, is by far the highest rate of incarceration IN THE WORLD!
On top of that a record 7 million people -- one in every 35 U.S. adults -- were behind bars, on probation or on parole by the end of last year, a Justice Department report released yesterday shows.From 1995 to 2003, inmates incarcerated in federal prisons for drug offenses have accounted for 49 percent of total prison population growth.
(Who says the war on drugs is working! Maybe these assholes should try lessening the sentences, drug treatment programs and de-criminalization of minor drug charges. Plus a "war on hard drugs" where is counts....... places like Afghanistan and Columbia!)
The statistics are from the annual report by the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics. These figures prove beyond a doubt that law enforcement theory in the US places an un-characteristically high and un-usually rigorous degree of importance on punishment.
I am going to give two examples of the problems with the American penal system that I ran across just this morning.
A Missouri man faces hefty prison term for stealing 52-cent doughnut. It's a hefty price for a pastry, the man accused of stealing a 52-cent doughnut could face up to 30 years in jail.
Authorities said Scott Masters, 41, slipped the doughnut into his sweat shirt without paying, then allegedly pushed away a clerk who tried to stop him as he fled the store.
The push is being treated as a minor assault, which transforms a misdemeanour shoplifting charge to a strong-armed robbery with a potential prison term of five to 15 years. But, because Masters has a criminal history, prosecutors say they could seek 30 years.
"Strong-arm robbery? Over a doughnut? That's impossible," Masters told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch from jail.
He admitted that he took the pastry but denying touching the employee. "There's no way I would've pushed a woman over a doughnut."
Farmington Police Chief Rick Baker said state law treats the shoplifting and assault as forcibly stealing property. The amount of force and value of the property doesn't matter in the States.
"It's not the doughnut," Baker said. "It's the assault."
Masters said he didn't even get to enjoy his ill-gotten gains: He threw the doughnut away as he fled.
On the other end of the spectrum, we have a look at people that really should be in jail.
Federal agents have arrested more than 1,300 suspected gang members in the past three months, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency official said.
During the three-month, nationwide crackdown, immigration and customs agents worked with law enforcement counterparts in 20 cities in what one official described as a "summer surge."
The sweep was part of the agency's Operation Community Shield anti-gang initiative, which started in 2005, and has resulted in arrests of more than 7,000 alleged members and their associates from more than 600 gangs, the agency said. Those taken into custody are either prosecuted in federal courts or deported.
One of the gangs targeted has been MS-13,
which is believed to be the fastest growing group in the United States as well as one of the most violent, the agency said.
The FBI estimates MS-13 has about 10,000 members in the country, along with tens of thousands in Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Nicaragua, Honduras and El Salvador, where the gang originated in the late 1980s.
What it all boils down to , bunky, is that when the U.S. has proportionately more people (and the wrong people)
in jail than all the totalitarian states like China, Cuba, Middle East Countries, North Korea, Vietnam and former East-Block countries then we know there is something seriously wrong with the justice system.
Allan W Janssen is the author of The Plain Truth About God
and the blog "Perspective"
Labels: drug arrests, gangsta, justice system, ms-13, operation community shield, prison population, scott masters