The Human Rights Watch has released a new report on incarceration in the USA. You can read it [url=http://www.hrw.org/english/docs/2008/06/06/usdom19035.htm ]here[/url]. Seven times more people are incarcerated in the USA than in Canada. Blacks have hugely higher incarceration rates than whites. Nearly 11 percent of blacks aged 30 to 34 are in jail. On the other hand, only two percent of the judges are black. (This isn't mentioned in the report.)
In some states the incarceration rate is higher than in others. In Louisiana one percent of the population are in jail. (This isn't mentioned in the report.) The figures are likely to rise even higher as social disparity increases. For example, thousands of people have had their water supply cut off in Detroit because they are so poor that they haven't been able to pay their water bills. It's impossible to live without water and consequently many have resorted to illegal means to gain access to the city's water system. If they get caught, their future will look even bleaker.
Here are some extracts from a news item that was published yesterday in Finland's biggest daily, Helsingin Sanomat:
"The US has become a country of cheap labor
The number of jobs decreased by 49,000 in May. The number of unemployed people increased by 900,000. Almost 20 percent of young people are unemployed. The average hourly wage was $17.94. The current rate of exchange makes that €1,840 a month. In Finland the average worker earned more than €2,500 as early as 2005. The USA has thus become a country of cheap labor."

I don't know how accurate the figures are, but a walk through some areas in a big US city easily convinces one that not everyone is well-off there. I have often wondered why Americans insist on having big social problems. I understand that it is impossible to redress them all completely. As Johnny Cash sings: "Things need changing everywhere you go." Very often it seems to me that Americans don't even try. That means more and more people in jail.
CB
Cool Breeze
Statistics released today by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, a branch of the US Department of Justice, show that as of June 30, 2007, approximately 2.3 million persons were incarcerated in US prisons and jails, an all-time high.

For comparision : in Russia in yar of «Big terror» only 1.6 million people was jailed in GULAG

We shouldn't wonder. The most democratic country in the world has to protect its democratic values.