One of Every 75 U.S. Men in Prison, Report Finds 

One of Every 75 U.S. Men in Prison, Report Finds 
Posted by CN Staff on May 27, 2004 at 14:36:44 PT
By The Associated Press
Source: Associated Press 
Washington -- America's prison population grew by 2.9 percent last year, to almost 2.1 million inmates, with one of every 75 men living in prison or jail. The inmate population continued its rise despite a fall in the crime rate and many states' efforts to reduce some sentences, especially for low-level drug offenders. The report issued Thursday by the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics attributes much of the increase to get-tough policies enacted during the 1980s and '90s, such as mandatory drug sentences, "three-strikes-and-you're-out" laws for repeat offenders, and "truth-in-sentencing laws" that restrict early releases.
Whether that's good or bad depends on whom is asked. "The prison system just grows like a weed in the yard," said Vincent Schiraldi, executive director of the Justice Policy Institute, which pushes for a more lenient system. Without reforms, he said, prison populations will continue to grow "almost as if they are on autopilot, regardless of their high costs and disappointing crime-control impact." But Attorney General John Ashcroft said the report shows the success of efforts to take hard-core criminals off the streets. "It is no accident that violent crime is at a 30-year low while prison population is up," Ashcroft said. There were 715 inmates for every 100,000 U.S. residents at midyear in 2003, up from 703 a year earlier, the report found. The nation's incarceration rate tops the world, according to The Sentencing Project, another group that promotes alternatives to prison. That compares with a rate of 169 per 100,000 residents in Mexico, 116 in Canada and 143 for England and Wales. Russia's prison population, which once rivaled the United States', has dropped to 584 per 100,000 because of prisoner amnesties in recent years, the group said. The U.S. inmate population in 2003 grew at its fastest pace in four years. The number of inmates increased 1.8 percent in state prisons, 7.1 percent in federal prisons and 3.9 percent in local jails. In 2003, 68 percent of prison and jail inmates were members of racial or ethnic minorities, the government said. An estimated 12 percent of all black men in their 20s were in jails or prisons, as were 3.7 percent of Hispanic men and 1.6 percent of white men in that age group, according to the report. The report also said: * The number of women in state and federal prisons grew by 5 percent, compared to a 2.7 percent increase for men. Still, men greatly outnumber women: 1.36 million to 100,102. * Local jails held 691,301 inmates. * The inmate population in 10 states increased at least 5 percent. Some of the smallest state prison systems saw the largest increase: Vermont's grew by 12.2 percent, Minnesota was up 9.4 percent and Maine 9.1 percent. * Only nine states logged a decrease in prison population, led by Rhode Island with a 3.4 percent drop; Arkansas, 2.2 percent; and Montana, 2.1 percent. Newshawk: cloud7Source: Associated Press Published: Thursday, May 27, 2004Copyright: 2004 The Associated Press Related Articles & Web Site:The Sentencing Project American Gulag in The Making Millions Behind Bars in U.S. 
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Comment #6 posted by E_Johnson on May 28, 2004 at 07:52:30 PT
We're evolving towards a Soviet-style system
The command and control economy was NOT their biggest sin.And it won't be ours either.
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Comment #5 posted by kaptinemo on May 28, 2004 at 04:59:08 PT:
You can expect to see things get worse...
Because the economy isn't getting any better. More people out of work, more people becoming desperate, more people turning to crime out of sheer survival. While poeple like "Kenny Boy" Lay and his Korporate Krook ilk are free. At Herr Busch's leave. 
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Comment #4 posted by rchandar on May 27, 2004 at 19:11:56 PT:
prison population growing
it's just embarrassing. really, it tells us that this isn't a "free" country, even "a democracy." when we disenfranchise and destroy sizable portions of the population, we aren't humane. we aren't meting out justice. we are destroying. simple.--rchandar
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Comment #3 posted by mayan on May 27, 2004 at 18:34:12 PT
Federal Pigs
"The U.S. inmate population in 2003 grew at its fastest pace in four years. The number of inmates increased 1.8 percent in state prisons, 7.1 percent in federal prisons and 3.9 percent in local jails."It is clear that the federal government is the biggest threat to freedom and the chief architect of this police state.The way out...9/11 Prior Knowledge/Government Involvement Archive: 
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Comment #2 posted by Virgil on May 27, 2004 at 17:31:30 PT
Prison is for poor people
From Show Janklow Pardoned Son-In-Law By JOE KAFKA, Associated Press Writer PIERRE, S.D. - Former Gov. Bill Janklow pardoned his son-in-law in 2002 for three drunken-driving and marijuana-possession convictions, according to documents unsealed Thursday on orders from South Dakota's highest court. 
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Comment #1 posted by global_warming on May 27, 2004 at 15:40:51 PT
What Is A Prison?
The world has had to struggle with "crime" from times best forgotten, the cries and passions of people from times forgotten mists vail the tears that need to be wiped. From little children and saints, they all stand forward to say, the worlds mysteries encompass and engulf all sorrow, as the stars and celestial repetitions hide internal revelations, that have lighted mankind's footsteps in this mysterious journey towards the unknown.As we all press on into the future, I hope that some of us, will carry this burden, with respect and honor, for the fallen have not been forgotten, they stand by us, to strengthen and sustain our steps, they are the "Light" that illuminate our difficult paths, as we join to herald each new and mystical moment of this universe.The Timetable of World Legal History  * 2350 BC: Urukagina's Code
  * 2050 BC: Ur-Nammu's Code
  * 1850 BC: The Earliest Known Legal Decision
  * 1700 BC: Hammurabi's Code
  * 1300 BC: The Ten Commandments
  * 1280 BC: The Laws of Manu
  * 621 BC: Draco's Law
  * 600 BC: Lycergus' Law
  * 550 BC: Solon's Laws
  * 536 BC: The Book of Punishments
  * 450 BC: The Twelve Tables
  * 350 BC: The Chinese Code of Li k'vei
  * 399 BC: The Trial of Socrates
  * 529: Justinian's Code
  * 604: The Seventeen Article Constitution of Japan
  * 653: T'ang Code
  * 700: Fingerprinting Is Invented
  * 1100: First Law School
  * 1215: Magna Carta
  * 1306: The Trial of Scotsman William Wallace
  * 1535: The Trial of Sir Thomas More
  * 1689: The English Bill of Rights
  * 1692: The Salem Witch Trials
  * 1740: South Carolina Slave Code
  * 1765: Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England
  * 1776: The American Declaration of Independence
  * 1787: The Constitution of the United States of America
  * 1788: Through the Operation of Penal Law, A Country Is Formed
  * 1791: The American Bill of Rights
  * 1803: Marbury versus Madison
  * 1804: Napoleonic Code
  * 1864: The Geneva Convention
  * 1865: The Thirteenth Amendment
  * 1945-46: The Nuremberg War Crimes Trial
  * 1948: The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)2350 BC: Urukagina's CodeThis code has never been discovered but it is mentioned in other documents as a consolidation of existing "ordinances" or laws laid down by Mesopotamian kings. An administrative reform document was discovered which showed that citizens were allowed to know why certain actions were punished. It was also harsh by modern standards. Thieves and adulteresses were to be stoned to death with stones inscribed with the name of their crime. The code confirmed that the "king was appointed by the gods".
2050 BC: Ur-Nammu's Code1850 BC: The Earliest Known Legal DecisionA clay tablet reveals the case, in 1850BC, of the murder of a temple employee by three men. The victim's wife knew of the murder but remained silent. Eventually, the crime came to light and the men and woman were charged with murder. Nine witnesses testified against the men and woman and asked for the death penalty for all four. But the wife had two witnesses which told the court that she had been abused by her husband, that she was not part of the murder and that she was even worse off after her husband's death. The men were executed in front of the victim's house but the woman was spared.1700 BC: Hammurabi's CodeThis Babylonian king came to power in 1750 BC. Under his rule, a code of laws was developed and carved on a huge rock column. The expression "an eye for an eye" has come to symbolize the principle behind Hammurabi's code. It contains 282 clauses regulating a vast array of obligations, professions and rights including commerce, slavery, marriage, theft and debts. The punishments are, by modern standards, barbaric. The punishment for theft was the cutting off of a finger or a hand. A man's lower lip was cut off if he kissed a married woman. Defamation was punished by cutting out the tongue. If a house collapses because the builder did not make it strong enough, killing the owner, the builder was put to death. If the owner's son died, then the builder's son was executed.
1300 BC: The Ten CommandmentsAccording to the Bible, it was in approximately 1300 BC that Moses received a list of ten laws directly from God. These laws were known as the Ten Commandments and were transcribed as part of the Book of Moses, which later became part of the Bible. Many of the Ten Commandments continue in the form of modern laws such as "thou shalt not kill" (modern society severely punishes the crime of murder), "thou shalt not commit adultery" (modern society allows a divorce on this grounds) and "thou shalt not steal" (modern society punishes theft as a crime). The Bible chapter that contains the Ten Commandments (Exodus) follows the recitation of the Commandments with a complete set of legal rules, which are based on the "eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth" legal philosophy of Hammurabi's Code. Click here to read the actual text of the Ten Commandments in the WWLIA LAW Museum Archives section.
1280 BC to 880 BC: The Laws of ManuIt has not yet been possible to pinpoint exactly when India's great Laws of Manu were written. The Laws were a written compilation of known legal rules which had been passed on from generation to generation. It formed the basis of the caste system in India, where people were classified by their social standing and regulated almost all facets of India's society from contracts to criminal law. The Laws of Manu used punishment sparingly and only as a last resort and rarely sadistic. Amputation, though, was a possible sentence. The members of the higher castes were punished more severely than those of the lower castes.621 BC: Draco's LawThis Greek citizen was chosen to write a code of law for Athens (Greece). The penalty for many offences was death; so severe, that the word "draconian" comes from his name and has come to mean, in the English language, an unreasonably harsh law. His laws were the first written laws of Greece. These laws introduced the state's exclusive role in punishing persons accused of crime, instead of relying on private justice. The citizens adored Draco and upon entering an auditorium one day to attend a reception in his honour, the citizens of Athens showered him with their hats and cloaks as was their customary way to show appreciation. By the time they dug him out from under the clothing, he had been smothered to death.550 BC: Solon's LawsSolon was an Athenian statesman and lawmaker. He further refined Draco's laws and is credited with "democratizing" justice by making the courts more accessible to citizens.
536 BC: The Book of PunishmentsA legal book printed in China which limited the ways to punish someone where they had been convicted of a serious crime. They included tattooing, cutting off of the nose, castration, feet amputation and death.450 BC: The Twelve TablesTen Roman men were given wide powers to write the laws that were to govern Romans. They came up with ten laws to which two were later added. These laws are considered to form the foundation of all modern public and private law. They promoted the organization of public prosecution of crimes and instituted a system whereby injured parties could seek compensation from their aggressors. More importantly, they protected the lower class (plebes) from the legal abuses of the ruling class (the patricians) especially in the enforcement of debts. From that point on, a basic principle of Roman law is that the law must be written and justice cannot be left in the hands of judges alone to interpret. It also prohibited inter-class marriages, seriously punished theft and gave fathers rights of life or death over his sons. The Twelve Tables also punished the misuse of magic! Written on wood and bronze tablets, the Twelve Tables survived almost 1000 years until destroyed by invading gauls in 390.350 BC (approximately): The Chinese Code of Li k'veiThe first Chinese imperial code of laws dealt with theft, robbery, prison, arrest and general rules. It served as a model for the T'ang Code.
399BC: The Trial of SocratesSocrates was an Athenian philosopher. Socrates was not religious and preached logic. When Athens lost the Peloponnesian Wars, conservative Athenians looked for a scapegoat. Three citizens brought an accusation against the 70-year old popular philosopher for allegedly corrupting the youth and for not believing in the gods. He was tried before a jury of 501 citizens that found him guilty on a vote of 281-220. When asked to speak on the proposed sentence, Socrates mocked the jurors and they replied, 361-140, with a sentence of death. Socrates' promoted "conscience" and his death increased interest in his life and teachings.
529: Justinian's CodeThis Emperor of Byzantine is best remembered for his codification of Roman Law in a series of books called Corpus Juris Civilis. His collection served as an important basis for law in contemporary society, and was inspired by logic-based Greek legal principles. Many legal maxims still in use today are derived from Justinian's Code. His work inspired the modern concept and, indeed, the very spelling of "justice". This Roman Code survived as the many parts of Germany until 1900 and important traces of it can be found in the law of Italy, Scotland, South Africa and Quebec. Roman law formed the base of civil law, one of the two main legal systems to govern modern society in the Western civilization (the other being English common law). A quote: "The things which are common to all (and not capable of being owned) are: the air, running water, the sea and the seashores."
604: The Seventeen Article Constitution of JapanWritten by a Japanese prince regent, the Constitution shaped morality and law in Japan, a country which had just begun to develop and become literate. Some examples of its paternalistic clauses are: "peace and harmony should be respected because they are very important for intergroup relations"; "There are very few evil men. If we teach them (the Buddha beliefs), they may become obedient"; "equality, speediness and integrity should be maintained in court procedures" and "the basic philosophy in all matters should be "against privacy" and "toward public benefit". In it, one can observe that the emphasis of "Oriental law" which seeks to prevent disputes, whereas the "Western law" seeks to resolve disputes.
653: T'ang CodeThe territory which is now China was, since time immemorial, occupied by feuding kingdoms. It was not until 221 BC that the king of "Ch'in" managed to defeat the kings of the other 6 kingdoms and unite China. After 400 years of unification, the Empire developed a Code of Law called the T'sang Code, which listed crimes and their punishment in 501 articles. The Code revised earlier existing Chinese codes and standardized procedures. For examples, there were only two ways to perform capital punishment on a convicted criminal: beheading or hanging.
700: Fingerprinting Is InventedFingerprinting was in use by this time in China as a means of identifying people.
1100: First Law SchoolIn medieval Italy, students of law would hire a teacher to teach them Roman Law, especially Justinian's Code Corpus Juris. One teacher, known as Irnerius was particularly popular and students began to flock to him from all over Europe. He taught in Bologna and the surge of students meant that he had to hire other teachers to form the world's first law school. By 1150, his law school had over 10,000 students and contributed to the revival of the Corpus Juris and the spread of Roman law throughout Europe!
1215: Magna CartaAt Runneymede, England, on June 15, 1215, King John of England signed the Magna Carta in which he conceded a number of legal rights to his barons and to the people. In order to finance his foreign wars, King John had taxed abusively. His Barons threatened rebellion and coerced the King into committing to rudimentary judicial guarantees such as the freedom of the church, fair taxation, controls over imprisonment (habeas corpus) and the right to all merchants to come and go, freely, except in time of war. The Magna Carta had 61 clauses the most important of which may have been #39: "No freeman shall be captured or imprisoned ... except by lawful judgement of his peers or by the law of the land". It was the first time a king allowed that even he could be compelled to observe a law or the barons were allowed to "distrain and distress him in every possible way", just short of a legal right to rebellion. Once sworn to the document, letters were sent to all sheriffs ordering them to read the Charter aloud in public. It has been called the "blueprint of English common law" and was even recently pleaded in a English case. Click here to read the entire text of the Magna Carta in the LAW Museum Archives.
1306: The Trial of Scotsman William Wallace...
The Timetable of World Legal History
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