It is estimated that about 10 million people are imprisoned across the globe, and over 2.6 million of those are in America, which based on population means that America has the highest population imprisoned than any country around the world.
Think about it this way
As of 2014, Canada had a population of 35.2 million and according to stats Canada that same year, had 110,521 in prison while the US in the same year reported having 316 million people, almost exactly 10 times more, but 2,220,300 adults were incarcerated in US federal, state prisons and county jails in 2013.
Additionally, 4,751,400 adults in 2013 (1 in 51) were on probation or on parole.
Do these numbers not make sense to anyone else?
Based on stats from around the world including Canada, Germany, and Portugal (known for not having any major laws around drug crime, only rehabilitation), America has way more people in prison.
In October 2013, the incarceration rate of the United States of America was the highest in the world, at 716 per 100,000 of the national population. While the United States represents about 4.4 percent of the world’s population, it houses around 22 percent of the world’s prisoners, but why?
Well after much research and reading into something that I really knew nothing about, it all comes down to money in the end. To the shock of no one.
In the US, unfortunately, slavery, turned into Jim Crow, which then became what it still is today, mass incarceration.
Why mass incarceration, you ask, well, money.
Privately operated companies making millions if not billions on the system, including many of your favourite brands that will remain unnamed (but you can google that), have been making their wares through the hands of the men and women in the prison system from somewhere between 12 and 24 cents an hour, depending on program and state.
Privatised guards, supplies, food, add on manufacturing, and what do you have, well apparently, a well oil machine, and a huge one at that.
Publicly traded corporations like Corrections Corporation of America and GEO Group generated over $2.53 billion in revenue in 2012, and is estimated that they represent about half of the private prison business.
Taxpayers pay into the system, prisons are treated like garbage (we have all seen the thousands of videos (google that too if you dare) and private and publicly traded corporations make a killing, literally.
So what happened to reform, why are people still being locked up for what is widely accepted in other countries as legal or at least doesn’t carry the same penalty?
Reform was the initial idea, there are even other prison systems around the world today that were reformed, or created around the same ideals that the US had once upon a time, but those days are gone, and it’s all business now.
Let’s just say this: Business has no place in the “reform System”, it’s like religion and politics, the two should not be mixed to the betterment of us all.
So, what can be done? Well talking about it is the first course of action and after that, well we seem to live in a very uncertain time, but I, like many around me still believe there is hope, and while that is alive we can still fight for better, for me, for you, better for the generations to come.