America makes up 5% of the world's population but has 25% of the world's incarcerated.
Is America full of lawbreakers? Incarceration is on a steep incline.
There are a lot of Americans in prison, but there's more to the story. I'll get into that, but there are a couple of little (jaw-dropping) details we need to put on the table.
The U.S. is home to 5% of the world's population. But we have 25% of the world's prisoners, and we have most incarcerated youth in the world.
According to California Prison Focus, "no other society in human history has imprisoned so many of its own citizens."
Most Americans believe that crime in our country is on the rise. But actually, it has been declining for years.
Chart compares crime rates by year and type per 100,000 people.
If crime is dropping, why are prison populations rising in disproportionate rates?
We allow private companies to build and operate prisons for profit. Basically, it's their job to detain people.
OK, I know what you may be thinking 'cause I thought it, too: "So what? Who cares who owns the prison as long as I'm safe and the bad people are jailed?!" That's a great thought, but there's a huge problem with that.
There are four major, publicly traded corporations that own prisons in our country. Prison owners make money when people are locked up ... and they make a lot of money doing it.
We've seen incarceration in private prisons increase by 1,600%.
Private prisons are required to make money, and it's what their shareholders expect. When crime decreases, privately owned prisons begin to lose money, and that's bad for their bottom line. They can fix that by hiring lobbyists.
What do these lobbyists do?
They talk to our representatives in D.C. and ask them to make laws more strict. That way, the prisons have the right to detain more people.
Private prisons have also been known to bribe judges to incarcerate more people. WTF!
Did you know how private prison system worked before you read this? I didn't! But even if you were already aware, I KNOW there are lots of people who have no idea. You can share this post to help educate everyone so we can put a stop to the growth in this shady industry.