"Mystified and appalled"

More shocking prison statistics following the Pew Research report I blogged about last week. An article in the New York Times (via Brijit) focuses more on the US incarceration rate compared to the rest of the world.

The United States has less than 5 percent of the world’s population. But it has almost a quarter of the world’s prisoners.

The United States has, for instance, 2.3 million criminals behind bars, more than any other nation, according to data maintained by the International Center for Prison Studies at King’s College London.

Earlier this week Thomas Purves pointed to research by Eric Cadora showing, on a map of Broooklyn, how much money is spent to incarcerate residents of particular city blocks. This is mildly interesting from a statistical point of view, but when compared to the same map showing Black population by block it becomes shocking. The intent of the map was to show how certain voting districts lose a great deal of their democratic weight to prison, but the racial implications of those results are shameful.

[tags]united states, imprisonment, incarceration, thomas purves, eric cadora[/tags]

In which Dan briefly contemplates buying another TV

The statistics in this Washington Post article just baffle me:

  • The Pew Center on the States released a study in February showing that for the first time in [American] history, more than one in every 100 adults is in jail or prison
  • According to the Justice Department, 7 million people — or one in every 32 adults — are either incarcerated, on parole or probation or under some other form of state or local supervision
  • Today one in nine young black men is behind bars
  • African Americans now comprise more than half of all prisoners, up from a third three decades ago
  • The U.S. incarceration rate is five to 12 times that of other industrialized countries as well as being the highest in the world

I can offer no insight or perspective. I’m still in shock from that first number.


The Canadiens held on for a tough win tonight. That game was like a war. The Bruins forced them to play their kind of game, but a superb goalie and a good power play (which finally clicked tonight) was enough to get them the 3-1 series lead.

The Canadiens should finish them off at home Thursday night, and I soooooooo wish I could be in Montreal for it. I wouldn’t even need tickets to the game, I’d be happy just being in the city and absorbing all the energy.

Between work, the NHL playoffs, Hot Docs (which starts Thursday), my assignment and everything else, I’ve kind of forgotten about the Raptors. They’re limping into the playoffs, but will face Orlando in the first round and should have a legitimate shot if they can throw enough big men at Dwight Howard. This is the first time since 2002 that both my teams have made the playoffs in the same year. People…I only have so much attention span!!

[tags]washington post, prison, incarceration, montreal canadiens, boston bruins, toronto raptors[/tags]