If sitting in a prison cell was a job, it would be one of the most common jobs in the United States. In 2012, there were some 1,570,000 inmates in state and federal prisons in the U.S., according to data from the Justice Department.
By contrast, there were about 1,530,000 engineers in America last year, 815,000 construction workers, and 1 million high school teachers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The Justice Department’s prison number doesn’t include inmates who are incarcerated in county or city jails. That number is hard to come by, since counties and cities keep their own records and don’t report to a central authority.
There are nearly five times as many people in prison as there were in 1980., when the drug war was just getting underway.
“NEARLY HALF OF THE INMATES FILLING OUR FEDERAL PRISONS ARE INCARCERATED FOR DRUG OFFENSES,” REP. RAUL LABRADOR (R-IDAHO) SAID IN A STATEMENT LAST WEEK.
Labrador and Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) recently teamed up to introduce the latest legislation aimed at reforming the country’s sentencing laws, joining Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), and others from both sides of the partisan divide.
“GRANTING FEDERAL JUDGES MORE DISCRETION IN SENTENCING FOR NONVIOLENT DRUG OFFENSES IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO,” SCOTT SAID IN A STATEMENT. “STUDIES OF MANDATORY MINIMUMS CONCLUDE THAT THEY FAIL TO REDUCE CRIME, THEY WASTE THE TAXPAYERS’ MONEY, AND THEY OFTEN REQUIRE THE IMPOSITION OF SENTENCES THAT VIOLATE COMMON SENSE.”
By Saki Knafo | HuffingtonPost
Dated: Nov 6, 2013
Categories: Prison Industrial Complex