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  1. #1
    IRL is not real Cimarron's Avatar
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    Default Louisiana: Highest incarceration rate on Earth

    I keep checking to make sure that that statement is not an exaggeration, but it seems to be true.

    Most of us know that the U.S.A. has the highest incarceration rate on Earth, and which of our 50 states has the highest? Louisiana.

    Here's a quick overview:

    One in 86 Louisiana adults is in the prison system, which is nearly double the national average.

    Louisiana leads the nation in the percentage of its prisoners serving life without parole.

    Louisiana spends less on local inmates than any other state.

    More than 50 percent of Louisiana’s inmates are in local prisons, which is more than any other state. The next highest state is Kentucky at 33 percent. The national average is 5 percent.

    Nearly two-thirds of Louisiana’s prisoners are nonviolent offenders. The national average is less than half.

    *In the early 1990s, the state was under a federal court order to reduce overcrowding, but instead of releasing prisoners or loosening sentencing guidelines, the state incentivized the building of private prisons. But, in what the newspaper called “a uniquely Louisiana twist,” most of the prison entrepreneurs were actually rural sheriffs. They saw a way to make a profit and did.

    The last point kind of brings to light how this situation developed.

    According to The Times-Picayune (New Orleans' main newspaper) : “In five years, about half of the state’s ex-convicts end up behind bars again.”

    Full article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/26/op...its.html?_r=2&

    Here's more on the difference between Louisiana local prisons vs. the usual American prisons: http://www.npr.org/2012/06/05/154352...prison-capital

    What's most fascinating about this news to me, when I first heard it, was that I've been living in this society for several years, and suddenly I'm aware that this environment around me has the highest prison rate on Earth...! Doesn't feel any different--that's the weird part. It doesn't feel more oppressive or shadowed than other parts of the U.S.A.

    I wanted to share this story, for people who hadn't heard.
    Last edited by Cimarron; 11-02-2013 at 08:20 AM. Reason: another link
    You can't spell "justice" without ISTJ.

  2. #2
    ndovjtjcaqidthi
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    'murika

    Lol @ the USA being a joke.

  3. #3
    IRL is not real Cimarron's Avatar
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    Default

    All right, thanks.
    You can't spell "justice" without ISTJ.

  4. #4
    ndovjtjcaqidthi
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cimarron View Post
    All right, thanks.
    Np.

  5. #5
    amateur cartographer kquirk's Avatar
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    Default

    "...how the state’s largely private prison system profits from high incarceration rates and tough sentencing, and how many with the power to curtail the system actually have a financial incentive to perpetuate it."

    This is terribly sad. I'd like to say these revelations might actually lead to big changes, but unfortunately we have such short attention spans nothing will probably get done. Remember when we were so serious about making sure Bill down the street can't buy an assault rifle?

    Of course these aren't easy problems to solve. I think a step in the right direction would be to massively overhaul our drug laws. Start by legalizing marijuana and go on from there.

    This is also a pretty good argument against "States' rights". “A prison system that leased its convicts as plantation labor in the 1800s has come full circle and is again a nexus for profit.”
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  6. #6
    Ginkgo
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    The first thing that occurred to me was that Louisiana may accommodate a higher number of delinquents than the rest of the world, but the case may also be that their laws are more abundant or that their police force is more sensitive. Of course, the articles you provided more or less confirmed my second suspicion. Not only that, but the fact that the executive branches of government that held the fort pre- Katrina suggests that cultural upheavals haven't played a huge part.

    Not sure how I feel about Sheriffs capitalizing on incarcerations. Seems pretty sketch.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cimarron View Post
    It doesn't feel more oppressive or shadowed than other parts of the U.S.A.
    Why would it make you feel oppressed? Do you feel oppressed living in the US?

    Wouldnt it make more sense of wonder at just how lawless and criminal the majority of the population is? To the point that they dont mind reoffending?

    Or how little losing their freedom phases any of them? Sounds to me that they've gotten used to incarceration or maybe even become dependent upon it some how?

  8. #8

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    I wonder if it would change attitudes to corrections if the staffing of facilities was determined by lottery?

    The left idealist criminological criticism of the criminal justice system seems to rely upon on key factor and that is the distance of readership from much of the subject matter being discussed.

  9. #9
    The Dark Lord The Wailing Specter's Avatar
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    Default

    I live near Shreveport, Louisiana, and I am shocked but not surprised.

    We are also dead-last in education.
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