errick Z. Jackson
The Boston Globe
What is the “world’s leading prison state”? asked Derrick Z. Jackson. You might think it is repressive China or Putin’s Russia. But as a recent Pew Center study recently revealed, it’s the U.S., where 2.3 million people—one out of every 100 adult Americans—now languish behind bars. Per capita, our rate of imprisonment easily exceeds that of Russia, is six times that of China, and seven times that of Germany and France. The primary crime behind this swelling population is not robbery or murder but the sale and possession of drugs. Under draconian laws adopted during the crack epidemic of the 1980s and 1990s, most of those sentenced to long prison terms are black: One in 15 black men is in jail, compared to one in 106 white males. Yet, in an amazing act of hypocrisy, the State Department last week issued an annual human-rights report that condemned Russia, Burma, and China for arbitrarily imprisoning too many of their citizens. Nations that live in glass prisons shouldn’t throw stones.
- The logic behind the world's 4 weirdest strategic reserves
- Watch The Daily Show use Pope Francis to hammer Fox Business pundits
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- Diagnosing the Home Alone burglars' injuries: A professional weighs in
- 4 secret societies you probably don't know about
- 10 things you need to know today: December 6, 2013
- Remembering Nelson Mandela: A tribute in photos and prose
Top 7 insane homeowners association rules
- What to expect when you're expecting (100 years ago)
- Is it possible to live forever?
Subscribe to the Week