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Apr 03 2012

Fareed Zakaria: Incarceration Nation

DrugWar

Watch the video below for Fareed Zakaria’s take on today’s drug war… he states some interesting facts including, the fact that “the total number of Americans under correctional supervision (prison, parole, etc.) is 7.1 million, more than the entire state of Massachusetts.” He quotes The New Yorker’s Adam Gopnik, “Over all, there are now more people under ‘correctional supervision’ in America… than were in the Gulag Archipelago under Stalin at its height.”

He goes on to point out that “no other country comes even close to our rates of incarceration. We have 760 prisoners per 100,000 people. Most European countries have one seventh that number (per capita, so it’s adjusted for population). Even those on the high end of the global spectrum – Brazil and Poland – have only a quarter the number we do.”

Why are so many Americans imprisoned by their own government? …Zakaria suggests it may be related to the fact that privately run prisons are big business with powerful lobbyists that can buy politicians to keep and create laws that are in their own best interest. He argues that we are “are bankrupting out states and creating a vast underclass of prisoners who will never be equipped for productive lives.”

Read the entire article here: Zakaria: Incarceration Nation

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