1 out of 100 Americans in Prison

This doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with theater but according to this article in the NY TIMES:

For the first time in the nation’s history, more than one in 100 American adults are behind bars, according to a new report.

So with the number of American adults at 230 million, one in every 99.1 adults is behind bars. One in 36 adult Hispanic men is behind bars, one in 15 adult black men is and one in nine black men ages 20 to 34.

I bet that this is a higher incarceration rate than even back in the Gulag days of the Soviet Union. The NY DAILY NEWS reports the same story with these added facts:

The report said the United States incarcerates more people than any other nation, far ahead of more populous China with 1.5 million people behind bars. It said the U.S. also is the leader in inmates per capita (750 per 100,000 people), ahead of Russia (628 per 100,000) and other former Soviet bloc nations which round out the Top 10.

The U.S. also is among the world leaders in capital punishment. According to Amnesty International, its 53 executions in 2006 were exceeded only by China, Iran, Pakistan, Iraq and Sudan.

Apart from the fact that we can no longer afford to keep so many people locked up, it is just scary. And now the President is urging congress to pass his surveillance legislation to insure the telecommunications companies can spy on us with impunity. If we don’t let them, the terrorists will get us.

Can this be far behind?:

It doesn’t feel like a police state yet, does it?

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