There appears to be relationship between illegal immigration and the US prison population explosion

By Noble Johns

LOS ANGELES, California (BNW) —
With the rise in the illegal immigration population over the past decade, and the rise in the prison population in this country over the same period, it hard to believe that the two are mutually exclusive. In fact, there is a positive relationship between the independent variable and dependent variable. In other words, the more they ship these illegal immigrants over here, the more they lock US citizen, especially Black men, in prison.

Consider this, when a country displaces its workforce by sending working aged citizens to jail for basically nonviolent crimes, it is force to replace those workers with illegal immigrants, who are probably criminals from their own counties.

A record 7 million people — one in every 32 U.S. adults — were behind bars, on probation or on parole by the end of last year, a Justice Department report released yesterday shows.

Of those, 2.2 million were in prison or jail, an increase of 2.7 percent over the previous year, according to the report.

More than 4.1 million people were on probation and 784,208 were on parole at the end of 2005. Prison releases are increasing, but admissions are increasing more.

Men still far outnumber women in prisons and jails, but the female population is growing faster. Over the past year, the female population in state or federal prison increased 2.6 percent and the number of male inmates rose 1.9 percent. By year's end, 7 percent of inmates were women. The gender figures do not include inmates in local jails.

"Misguided policies that create harsher sentences for nonviolent drug offenses are disproportionately responsible for the increasing rates of women in prisons and jails," Marc Mauer, executive director of the Sentencing Project, a Washington-based group that supports criminal justice reform, said in a statement.

From 1995 to 2003, inmates incarcerated in federal prisons for drug offenses have accounted for 49 percent of total prison population growth.

The statistics are from the annual report by the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics. The report breaks down inmate populations for state and federal prisons and for local jails.

The study found that racial disparities among prisoners persist. In the 25-29 age group, 8.1 percent of Black men - about 50 percent - are incarcerated, compared with 2.6 percent of Hispanic men and 1.1 percent of white men. The figures are not much different among women. By the end of 2005, Black women were more than twice as likely as Hispanics and more than three times as likely as white women to be in prison.

There were significant changes in some states' prison populations. In South Dakota, the number of inmates increased 11 percent over the past year, more than in any other state. Montana and Kentucky were next, with increases of 10.4 and 7.9 percent, respectively. Georgia had the biggest decrease, losing 4.6 percent of its prison population, followed by Maryland (2.4 percent decrease) and Louisiana (2.3 percent).

The steady rise in the US prison population has continued under Democratic and Republican administrations alike, as the two parties vied to champion repressive “law-and-order” measures, while funneling ever greater shares of the national wealth to the uppermost social layers.

US prison population peaks

Official figures show the US has the biggest prison population in the world, and the highest number of inmates as a proportion of its population.

A report from the US Justice Department also estimated 12 per cent of black men in their 20s and early 30s were in jail last year.

Just 1.6 per cent of white males in the same age group were locked up.

The overall increase - almost double the number in 1990 - has been pushed up by a "get tough" sentencing policy that has led to longer sentences for drug offenders and other criminals.

Even higher

According to the report, the 50 US states along with the District of Columbia and the federal government held as many as 1,355,748 people as of June last year.

"Get tough" sentencing has increased the prison population

Another 665,475 inmates were under lock and key in municipal and local jails.

In total, one in every 142 people living in the United States was in jail last year.

That figure would be higher if inmates handled by the US Immigration and Naturalization Service, and others from institutions such as military jails were included.

The US currently incarcerates more people than any other country in the world.

In China, which has a population of about 1.3 billion, there are more than 1.4 million inmates, according to Britain's Home Office. The US has a population of 286 million.

Russia, which has a population of 144 million, has a prison population of about 920,000.

How Americans can ignore this great injustice in their criminal justice system is the mystery to the world… yet, it means nothing to US because it’s just another example of American hypocrisy.





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