More than one in 100 adults in US in jail

February 29th, 2008 - 12:48 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, Feb 29 (DPA) More than one in 100 adults in the US were behind bars for the first time in history at the start of 2008, placing a serious strain on state budgets and calling into question their reliance on prisons as the best means of punishment, according to a new report. The Pew Center on the States’ Public Safety Performance Project, which compiled the data from state and federal sources, said 2,319,258 people were in prison at the beginning of the year after an increase of more than 25,000 people during 2007.

The report released Thursday said that the higher incarceration rates were not related to an increase in crime or the population in general, but rather to policy measures.

“For all the money spent on corrections today, there hasn’t been a clear and convincing return for public safety,” Adam Geib, director of the Pew project said in a statement.

But Geib said states were now beginning to “rethink their reliance on prisons” and testing out community-based punishments that may be equally effective and reduce the strain on correctional facilities.

The report said that one in 30 men aged between 20 and 34 were jailed, while one in nine African American men of the same age were incarcerated. Men were 13 times more likely to be in jail than women.

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