Thursday, March 09, 2006


Kentucky Trying to Reduce Prison Population

A bill in the Kentucky Senate is aimed at reducing prison populations in Kentucky. A little known fact is that the U.S. has the highest prison population per 100,000 of any country in the world. That's right, worse than Communist China, Russia and every where else. Maybe we're not as free as we think.
The number of prisoners held in 205 countries are presented. Over 9 million people are incarcerated, with almost 50% held in the U.S., Russia, and China. The U.S. has the highest prison population rate of 701 per 100,000 of its national population, well above Russia with a rate of 606 per 100,000. Rates of 150 per 100,000 or below are experienced by 60.5% of the countries reviewed.
In some countries, such as Cuba, accurate numbers cannot be verified by outside entities.

Drug use and drug laws are a major factor in these high incarceration rates. Amelioration of this is where the bill is aimed.
Under the bill, at least 200 beds in corrections facilities would be set aside for people to receive intensive substance abuse treatment.
Men make up the overwhelming majority of prisoners. Maybe this is why skyrocketing prison populations is not a bigger issue. The psychological toll prison experiences, such as rape, can take ensure that the problem is self-perpetuating.

That our great, free, open society has the highest incarceration rate in the world in certainly a black eye on our country. Maybe this is a start in the right direction.

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