"Back on Christmas, Matt wrote an article called Five Untouchable Symptoms detailing five major problems facing the country that even leading Democrats rarely, if ever, address. Four of those five problems actually revolved around only two issues: America's extraordinarily high levels military spending and incarceration rates. Just how bad is the incarceration rate in America? According to a new study from Pew, 1 in 99 American adults are currently in jail. From the New York Times article on the report:
For the first time in the nation's history, more than one in 100 American adults is behind bars, according to a new report.
Nationwide, the prison population grew by 25,000 last year, bringing it to almost 1.6 million. Another 723,000 people are in local jails. The number of American adults is about 230 million, meaning that one in every 99.1 adults is behind bars.
Incarceration rates are even higher for some groups. One in 36 Hispanic adults is behind bars, based on Justice Department figures for 2006. One in 15 black adults is, too, as is one in nine black men between the ages of 20 and 34."