Sunday, April 27, 2008

Inmate Count in U.S. Dwarfs Other Nations’ - New York Times

Inmate Count in U.S. Dwarfs Other Nations’ - New York Times: "Indeed, the United States leads the world in producing prisoners, a reflection of a relatively recent and now entirely distinctive American approach to crime and punishment. Americans are locked up for crimes — from writing bad checks to using drugs — that would rarely produce prison sentences in other countries. And in particular they are kept incarcerated far longer than prisoners in other nations."

Land of the "free," right? If we have more laws than anyone else, does that mean we're more free?


Anonymous said...

Perhaps this is also why life in normal America is so benign. Our criminals are in jail.

You may not want to face the facts, but on some measures our crime rate is much lower than in most of the industrialised world.

Our murder and drug crimes are much higher, but on personal crimes, much lower. I'll take that tradeoff, any day. I won't be near those murdered, and I won't be near those doing drugs, thus, I am much less likely to be victimised.

The Truth Handler said...

I don't think you understand freedom. The founding fathers didn't promise safety, they promised freedom. I'm not sure how someone smoking/selling dope makes you a "victim."

Yours is a circular argument. Define them as criminals, then they are bad, then they should be locked up. Why should they be locked up? Because they are criminals.

Make lots of criminal laws, you have lots of crimes.

Anonymous said...

Fair enough, and good point. I understand and to a large degree respect your perspective. We are safe, at the expense of certain liberties and freedom. I guess I can't really argue with that.

What I can say, is that most Americans, on a day to day basis, feel much more secure and safe than do their continental counterparts.

This isn't going to be elequent, but what we learned from NYC In the 90's, is that when you enforce your laws, even your stupid ones, the criminals respect order, and everyone is much safer, both in fact, and in perception.

You can make the point that the law is dumb, and an encroachment on our freedoms, but it's difficult to argue that our security, both in fact and in sensation, isn't enhanced.

The liberties that are infringed upon, in my opinion, are at the peripheries of our society, not at our core, thus, not a great sacrifice. But reasonable people can differ.

The Truth Handler said...

You can certainly prefer a different system, just don't call it freedom.

fchristie said...

Crime and punishment are symptomatic of society’s inability to address the cause of the unhappiness and lack of fulfillment that generates these conditions.
Instead of looking to social, penal, psychological or political solutions to problems, perhaps we should look inward and work on correcting ourselves out of our egoism.
We are all in this together and it can be said, in a sense, that all the world’s pain resides in us.

Michael Laitman states this more succinctly.