Why Does America Have More Prisoners Than Any Police State?

Posted by on November 2, 2015 in Agencies & Systems, Government with 62 Comments


By  Les Leopold  | Alternet.org

America, supposedly the beacon of freedom and democracy, has become incarceration nation.

Our political and media elites should be ashamed of themselves. It's taken nearly 20 years for them to realize that we are the largest police state in the world — that we have more prisoners than China or Russia both in absolute numbers and as a percentage of the population.

This Rip Van Winkle awakening is now leading to handwringing calls for the release of minor “offenders” and rethinking the arrest of people for selling cigarettes on street corners or “driving while black.”

Incredibly, the  head of the FBI frets  that a new crime wave may result from being too mindful about preventing overt, racist police brutality. But of course, he has no explanation for how the “home of the free” became a gulag.

That explanation will be hard to come by until elites admit that they destroyed any and all efforts to create public jobs and expand social programs for those struggling to survive. They incarcerated the War on Poverty.

If we listen carefully to today's crop of politicians, we will find precious few (Bernie) who have the nerve to call for the creation of public jobs to bring down the 50% unemployment rate for black youths. Instead, they still sing from the old conservative hymnal about how “stimulating” the private sector will provide good jobs for all.

Sadly, that song is playing taps for America's youth, especially those of color.

This excerpt from  Runaway Inequality: An Activist's Guide to Economic Justice  provides further context and background.

We’re number one in prisoners

By every measure the U.S. leads the world in prisoners, with 2.2 million people in jail and more than 4.8 million on parole. No nation tops that – not China with 1.7 million, not Russia with 670,000. The chart below shows the dramatic rise of the state and federal prisoner population as well as local jail inmates since the Better Business Climate model [the neo-liberal philosophy of cutting taxes, government programs and regulations] took hold.


Tags: , , ,


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed Connect on YouTube

62 Reader Comments

Trackback URL Comments RSS Feed

  1. 967065300006448@facebook.com' Jeff Ahkivgak says:

    These must be SS NAZI THE TOP 3 percent money holders

  2. 1008704539150547@facebook.com' Amanda Meredith says:

    Cuz the war on drugs is a crock

  3. 846414435380494@facebook.com' Revolution de Mind says:

    Awesome very interesting :/

  4. 1162866137064077@facebook.com' Dexter Deberry says:


  5. 10153223366084773@facebook.com' Michael Christian says:

    Prison industrial complex is a private industry making money hand over fist for incarcerating people for non-violent crimes while releasing violent offenders to promote criminal behavior within the public to further insure more inmates to do slave labor for major corporations.

  6. 445967965607327@facebook.com' Samuel Stephens says:

    Because they scared of black people

    • 1649516391987187@facebook.com' Katrina Hardy says:

      Plenty of white folk in prison lady! Smh it’s gross that someone always gotta throw up a color, smh!

    • 445967965607327@facebook.com' Samuel Stephens says:

      Somebody always gotta bring up the race card that’s not a cop out its the truth it is well documented that white people are scared of black people

  7. 1673279399585484@facebook.com' Barry Rybicki says:

    Prisons run by the private sector are not working, they are prisons for profit

  8. 1636018416671834@facebook.com' David Dave Gaubiac says:

    Because prison are private. Simply

  9. 10208061493358850@facebook.com' Dennis McDonough says:


  10. 915481421877635@facebook.com' Shirley Ann Guzewski says:

    tradition and poverty mixed with perceived control and rewards for violence encouraged by greed and pushing the limits on TV and the media

  11. 803253933129546@facebook.com' Toy Kukard says:

    Because they have good policemen….. Sa should be the highest but the police only manage 50% successrate?

  12. 10207734075769832@facebook.com' CLee Gaines says:

    We need to be teaching citizens more. We need to have a true structure up for healing people with mental illness. We need to show people that someone cares. We need to stop having private prisons that can profit off the numbers. We need to start talking and move towards change individually and stop asking others to do it for us. Young black youth were targets for many years where people should be standing behind them they aren’t the just whine and spread the anger around to even younger generations and that’s stops any and all change taking place. We need to legalize so called “drugs” that can’t kill you and stop handing out hard time for pity crime. Much needs to change but we first need to inact it by getting involved. Watching tv, reading the news, and FB isn’t changing anything.

  13. 10153138043982894@facebook.com' Charles Barton Lamb says:

    Because it is the head of all/leader of all police states. Punish, punish, punish, incarcerate, and break the spirit. Don’t solve any societal problems. No no no. There is no money in that. Capitalism at its worst.

  14. 10206028515524639@facebook.com' Larry Clardy says:

    Because America has more illiterate blacks and illegal aliens and those who are legal but refuse to assimilate.

  15. 10207877504239807@facebook.com' Charmaine Paulson says:


  16. 10204898497643154@facebook.com' Dewayne Altis says:

    It’s a loop hole. They arrest people on questionable or fake charges. Offer you the max and use scare tactics to make you take am offer. For those of you that decide to fight it should hold the police department liable. Wrongful detainment. Make the state pay your bail and compensation. People don’t do that because are just glad its over with. Stand up and fight to what’s right and the money loss would be so great that they would be more selective of false allegations.

  17. 10204887003430194@facebook.com' Diamond Sparkles says:

    We the people pay these taxes to keep this Prison Organization going. That’s why they keep building these prisons. Its no difference than the legalized pharmaceutical drug dealers, pimps in the churches, education/student loans, all these things are rigged for HUGE profits. Why you think they put people on death row for years? Yes indeed, so they can make money off the tax payers. Its a win win situations with them. Not to mention we get taxed on every single thing under the sun.

  18. 490404341133105@facebook.com' Jamason DeLitta says:

    Land of the free

  19. 843228475797480@facebook.com' Thorsten Odinsson says:

    America was created as a penal colony of which, the worst CRIMINAL inmates, have taken permanent control of their own prison first… and of the rest of the world, then… 😀

  20. 10204898497643154@facebook.com' Dewayne Altis says:

    Conscious Life News do you have an email address?

  21. 855322061189262@facebook.com' Luda Goodrich says:

    Yeah but now that thousands are being released…as they should be…what will happen in the unemployment figures??

  22. 938727909539189@facebook.com' Annette Love Hatton says:

    One reason might be that US criminals once convicted are allow an appeal process. We don’t take them out and shoot them.

  23. 866324456782923@facebook.com' Lori Camacho says:

    Because in Police States people are outright KILLED. Period. They are guilty until proven guilty and they are hung, shot, beheaded, tortured without a trial. I can’t even believe you are publishing this.

  24. 10153682313082577@facebook.com' Amber Buckley-Cobbett says:

    Let them go,those who only have a petty crime like having some pot on them. Prob all kinds of people that are in there for that reason.

  25. 1069507823083465@facebook.com' Joshuahn Jackstonburg says:

    It’s a money-spinner – just like their foreign invasions of sovereign countries.

  26. 1502578836735655@facebook.com' Martha Moran says:

    Prison is a world within a world. If these wrong doers can’t do right by AMERICA send them to war

  27. 1195768370436510@facebook.com' Rafael Lopez says:

    Because it’s a business not a rehabilitation center

  28. 10203418394620226@facebook.com' Russ Ridlington says:

    We are number one!

  29. 967192286653176@facebook.com' Van Grube says:

    SOMEONE IS MAKING BIG MONEY, WHY ELSE. Surely the government does not care about it’s citizens….at least not the GOP.

  30. 1023623337669989@facebook.com' Kathleen Brodnick says:

    That’s because we give ppl too many chances and they get to much in prison it’s supposed to be punishment. Not a place to lift weights watch tv etc

    • 1088440004499677@facebook.com' Aaron Gregory says:

      You are way behind. Prison is not about reformation anymore, it is about making a profit. They no longer want to help people be a part of society, they want a high rate of recidivism to keep profits high.

    • 1023623337669989@facebook.com' Kathleen Brodnick says:

      Oh I am sure anything to do with the government is about money just like drugs etc

  31. 10204197039680672@facebook.com' Cherie Parker says:

    Word it’s. A business money money.

  32. 1088440004499677@facebook.com' Aaron Gregory says:


  33. 10153237573168763@facebook.com' Benjamin Jason LaMora says:

    Policing for profit…

  34. 1497270893900109@facebook.com' Being Jabari Jones says:

    Fear Based Xenophobic Nazis!

  35. 1673130699571760@facebook.com' Tim Butterworth says:

    Slave labour… Prison for profit.

  36. 10205255556450883@facebook.com' Erin Howard says:

    Because people in police states are very oppressed. They wouldn’t even dare to spit on the sidewalk.

  37. 10153768374612074@facebook.com' Su Light says:

    Because the Prison corporation earns more than the hospitality industry. A new form of slavery. And most of it will be blacks for cannabis offence. Shame on you US>

  38. 957918487598952@facebook.com' Curtis Moseley says:

    And would you believe that the higher the Christian population of an area = a higher incarceration percentage? No. You wouldn’t believe that.

  39. 1669075389996441@facebook.com' Oliver Johnen says:

    Recognize that at some level we are all criminals.

  40. 10153640266614923@facebook.com' Coral Ann Brinck says:

    It’s a money maker… Rest assured if there was money to be made on prisoner reform, nary an inmate would be found.

  41. 10206045713960306@facebook.com' Thomas Chenhall says:

    Prison or jail is an archaic game played by children and barbarians.

    In a grown-up society we play a system called “firing squad” and do not try to profit from the prolongation and worsening of the suffering of the wicked.

  42. 1240012072680878@facebook.com' Theresa Dawn says:


  43. 10153403514163073@facebook.com' Jonathan R. Thomas says:

    Watch our government try to pull another Stalin… and watch the People take freedom back. We don’t need government, government needs us. Not that government is inherently bad, but take a look at history, take a look at the psychology of power, take a look at today’s world, and try to think without adrenaline and cortisol surging through your veins. The global elite is profiteering off of every public service and every public bane. I want to fight back so so so bad, but I acknowledge the fact that the best thing we can do is educate ourselves and become the change we wish to see.

  44. 1186170498063449@facebook.com' Ian L Barrett says:

    Big Government’s Cheques To Be Had As The Government’s Are All Criminal’s In Suits & Funny Clothes Weapons Dealer’s Devil’s Regime’s Worldwide They Have To Lock Away All Those Awake Enough To Realise What’s Going My Friend’s.

    King Of Kings Of Truth Right Equality Light Holy-Grail Heaven On Earth Building & Real Lord Of All The Old Secret Fraudulent Royal Societies Of All The Old Fellowships Of All The Rings.
    Kingian Y + XXX XQ

  45. 10154098607019989@facebook.com' Bheka N Shambira says:

    İts a way of re recruiting cheap, cheap labour!

  46. 871720276198185@facebook.com' Kerry Begin says:

    The answer is simple, we have more laws for ppl.to break.

  47. 875756739181790@facebook.com' The Messenger says:

    $$$$ The reason it does everything and anything…

  48. 1490273174635543@facebook.com' Shaun Wallace says:

    Because its already become a police state?

  49. 1474722409503233@facebook.com' Reba Greco says:

    Profiting the richest 1percent.. Prisons in USA are big money makers for th rich.. Also is illegal war and war on drugs!! Also is 9 trillion that just vanishes n US citizens just believe the lies of th rich… Our ignorance is there strength. But keep believing the poor single mothers are ruining our country. K bye!

  50. 10208031301679326@facebook.com' Bernadette Jane Larsen says:

    It’s a business…build and fill! What other country has an expo for prison consumption!!!

New Title

NOTE: Email is optional. Do NOT enter it if you do NOT want it displayed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

FAIR USE NOTICE. Many of the articles on this site contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making this material available in an effort to advance the understanding of environmental issues, human rights, economic and political democracy, and issues of social justice. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of the copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law which contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. If you wish to use such copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use'...you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. And, if you are a copyright owner who wishes to have your content removed, let us know via the "Contact Us" link at the top of the site, and we will promptly remove it.

The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Conscious Life News assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms.

Paid advertising on Conscious Life News may not represent the views and opinions of this website and its contributors. No endorsement of products and services advertised is either expressed or implied.
Send this to a friend