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12:33 pm: Why are there so many people in the US jails?

The US jail population as a proportion of the general national population is the largest in the developed world.


I can think of three explanations:

Socialism bitter spot
US has too little socialism (welfare etc) to keep the underclass (i.e., the people who do not want to work) happy (as opposed to Europe where you can live on welfare your whole life), but it has too much socialism to force such people to really work. Thus we are at a bitter spot (worst case, as opposed to a sweet spot, the best case) on the socialist scale.
In more homogeneous societies the share of people whose abilities place them outside the labor force is smaller (you gotta know at least some probability and statistics to fully appreciate this theory).
Failure of the legal system
Most people cannot afford an attorney that would stay awake during the whole trial, and without a competent defence attorney a conviction is inevitable.


(no subject) - (Anonymous)
[User Picture]
Date:August 3rd, 2006 04:01 pm (UTC)
very interesting.
Date:August 24th, 2007 05:47 am (UTC)

Another possible explanation: Religion

There are more people in US jails on drug-related charges than the overall prison population of the EU. Of all western developed nations the US is (one of) the most religious and believers are typically uneasy with what they perceive as somebody else having more fun. As a result, you get stupid puritan laws, prosecution of victimless crimes and ultimately lots of folks in prison.
[User Picture]
Date:August 24th, 2007 10:14 pm (UTC)

Re: Another possible explanation: Religion

believers are typically uneasy with what they perceive as somebody else having more fun

yeah, right, and atheists are completely immoral.

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