The over crowding is nationwide. Have we become the incarceration nation? The Gadson County Jail in Tallahassee, Florida has a capacity of 150 inmates but is currently housing 230 in the place. They use bunk beds and people sleeping on the floor. Well, then have rotating shifts like we do. Some marriages never see each other because the Dad works the night shift and the Mom works the day shift.
Nationwide the numbers of inmates have risen dramatically according to the Bureau of Justice-Statistics Department. Now there are nearly 2.5 Million people behind bars. Over the last 20 years the crime rate has dropped by over 40%. The United States has about 25% of the worlds prisoners. So that just means that America incarcerates our criminals more than other countries do.
According to Michael Jacobson who is the Director of the non partisan Vera Institute of Justice, and who ran the N.Y. City’s jail and probation systems in the 1990’s, it costs about $47,000 dollars to jail an inmate per year. In Connecticut, Washington State and New York it can cost anywhere from $50,000 to $60,000 dollars to house an inmate. Wow! How about you give a taxpayer 60 grand a year to watch one of these guys.
Nothing came close to the war on drugs. President Nixon called it a new all out offensive. The war on drugs was announced in 1971 when there were fewer than 40,000 people in jail for drug offenses. Now there are more than half a million people in jails for drug offenses. Maybe legalizing the drugs would cost people less money. The tax payers never signed up for supporting this mess.