Sunday, July 27, 2003

The Land of the Free, Cont'd

Remarkably, the prison population in the US grew by 2.6% last year, while the crime rate dropped by 0.2%.

Of course, the disparity between the two figures is explained by the American preoccupation with mandatory sentences, especially for drugs.

Locking up so many people costs federal and state governments $40bn. With everyone in the red because of the collapse of the economy and the retrograde effects of the Bush tax cut, surely this money could be better spent.