|Wait, does the United States have 1.4 million or more than 2 million people in prison? And do the 688,000 people released every year include those getting out of local jails? Frustrating questions like these abound because our systems of federal, state, local, and other types of confinement — and the data collectors that keep track of them — are so fragmented. There is a lot of interesting and valuable research out there, but definitional issues and incompatibilities make it hard to get the big picture for both people new to criminal justice and for experienced policy wonks.
On the other hand, piecing together the available information offers some clarity. This briefing presents the first graphic we’re aware of that aggregates the disparate systems of confinement in this country, which hold more than 2.4 million people in 1,719 state prisons, 102 federal prisons, 2,259 juvenile correctional facilities, 3,283 local jails, and 79 Indian Country jails as well as in military prisons, immigration detention facilities, civil commitment centers, and prisons in the U.S. territories.
While the numbers in each slice of this pie chart represent a snapshot cross section of our correctional system, the enormous churn in and out of our confinement facilities underscores how naive it is to conceive of prisons as separate from the rest of our society. In addition to the 688,000 people released from prisons each year, almost 12 million people cycle through local jails each year. Jail churn is particularly high because at any given moment most of the 722,000 people in local jails have not been convicted and are in jail because they are either too poor to make bail and are being held before trial, or because they’ve just been arrested and will make bail in the next few hours or days. The remainder of the people in jail—almost 300,000—are serving time for minor offenses, generally misdemeanors with sentences under a year.
Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2009—The U.S. Tortured. Now what?
|We knew, even before the convening authority of military commissions at Guantanamo, Susan Crawford, said it was torture, that it was torture. Systematic. Presidentially approved. Torture.
But now, as Meteor Blades, buhdydharma and valtin have pointed out on these pages, it's official. The ICRC report makes it so.
Which brings us back to the explosive story Mark Danner brought us this week, when he obtained a leaked copy of that report. The obscene and nauseating details of what was done to human beings in the name of "justice" has been detailed elsewhere. I want to focus on Danner's conclusions.[...]
On today's Kagro in the Morning show: Yet. Another. Snow day. Greg Dworkin joins us in coming back from a weekend of Crimean voting and Malaysian plane searching to discuss the 2014 Senate outlook, perceptions of the economy and the healthcare system, and the Republican 2016 field. Forbes column says Obamacare is working & its opponents are wrong. Fun! In gun news: that anti-texting FL movie theater shooter was texting in the theater just minutes earlier! Counter to some popular talking points, accidental shootings are on the rise in WA. Weekend open carry protests in TX & AR go off safely, all participants being required to empty their weapons. Lastly, wage theft at Amazon.