Editorial: Incarceration Nation - 1 in 31 U.S. Adults Now in Criminal Justice System

Publication: Detroit Free Press

Author: Jeff Gerritt

03/02/2009 - The U.S. criminal justice system is tapping out state budgets while failing to make the public safe, but most people don’t care until it affects them directly. If the numbers keep growing, it won’t be long before practically everyone is. A study released today by the Pew Center on the States shows that 7.3 million people — 1 in 31 U.S. adults — are now locked up or on parole or probation. In Michigan, it’s one in 27 people. In one neighborhood on Detroit’s east side, one in seven adult men is in the system.

Our policies on crime and punishment aren't working and we can no longer afford them. Over the past two decades, state general fund spending on corrections has more than tripled to $68 billion a year. That means a lot less money for education, health care and other essential government services. Michigan spends $2 billion a year on corrections — more than it spends on higher education.

Read the full article Incarceration Nation on the Detroit Free Press' Web site.

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