US prison population 55% higher than USSR under Stalin

The US prison population now stands at around 2.3 million. This is around 800,000 higher than the PRC with around 1.5 million (with a total population of 1.3 billion) and around 55% higher than the number of prisoners in the USSR under Stalin, which peaked at 1,500,524 in January 1941.

The level of crime and the levels of inequality in a society go hand in hand, statistically you are more likely to commit crime the more oppressed you are*. These numbers should be a stark reminder of how polarised the United States is becoming.

Throwing more and more people in jail isn't a long term solution, tackling the causes of crime, such as crippling poverty rampant in many inner city areas in the US and shrinking the gap between rich and poor is. Many British politicians too, especially the Conservative Party should take note.

Americans should ask questions, why does a country with 4% of the world's population have 25% of the world's prison population?

Last year on the 1st of May millions of workers went out on strike, the actions of these people is the example all American workers should follow because only through their combined action can these problems be tackled. They can't be touched by voting in a different pro-business party, only by grass roots action with trade unions and a formation of a labour party upon them; with a radical program of social reforms, nationalisation and re-distribution of wealth can these issues be tackled.

*Unfortunately the crimes the capitalists (and Lord Brown) commit screwing the workers with pay cuts and the theft of thousands and tens of thousands of pounds per year per worker in unpaid wages isn't recognised yet as being a crime, just good business.

3 comments

Comment from: david meron [Visitor]
david meron
2 stars

I live in the usa and have been in jail you are very wrong you sound russian or antiamerican. We hhave the most inmates because we have the besst law inforcment and investigation. Almost all the people I knowb who are in jail were aressted after the crrime with finger printing and cameras. We are definatley not in poverty here at all. I don't like are current goverment. We also have a much larger population then stalin in 41. Your post is opinion not fact sorry

23rd December 2010 @ 04:22
Comment from: Liz K [Visitor]  
Liz K
5 stars

No, no, David Meron; whatever you learnt in prison it certainly wasn't spelling! Paul Smith is right for both UK & US & I for one wish that Americans would do just as he recommends here! You need a Labor party. With the caveat that modern unions aren't always that much good; because they tend to cave in &be more for the interests of their own management, less so the workers!

But anyway - the US prison pop. way outstrips that of any dictatorship in the world to date! What are they going to do abt it when the time rlly comes to make cuts cos their balance of payments & credit is all shot to hell? Recent UK Guardian article (where I found this blog, referenced on the comments section, nice one!) trumpeted a "decades-long fall in crime rates.." due to ?? no-one's sure but pundits are punditing mixture of high incarceration rates combined with.. legalising abortion in the 70s??

Well: now they want to de-legalize abortion in the southern states & they've already made it harder to obtain overall; & their stupid..

22nd August 2011 @ 14:12
Comment from: Liz K [Visitor]  
Liz K
5 stars

..Tea Party does all it can to wreck what remains of the American economy and credit rating.. so how long will they be able to go on with this massive incarceration addiction?? For that is what it is.

And the person who made the comment on the 2011 Guardian crime article about there being a likely increase in the number of RANDOM crimes of violence, often involving families (or school/workplace shootings: various crimes of passion) often by middle-class people: this has most definitely and is going up: there have been plenty of recent examples. Repression will always burst out somewhere as the shrinks know! That commenter was right. & I say the bourgeois press shouldn't be too quick to "celebrate" "falls in violence" because it is just the calm before the storm.

Anyway, I'm a socialist, too, Paul (and a pagan! :) ). Nice article/blog: do feel free to look me up at the link onto Twitter.

22nd August 2011 @ 14:30


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