Excerpt from "Senator Jim Webb's Criminal Justice Crusade" - "In 1980, fewer than 500,000 Americans were in prison; today, the number is 2.3 million. To put that statistic in perspective, the median incarceration rate among all countries is 125 prisoners for every 100,000 people. In England, it’s 153; Germany, 89; Japan, a mere 63. In America, it’s 743, by far the highest in the world. Include all the U.S. residents currently on probation or parole, and our country’s correctional population soars to about 7.2 million—roughly one in every 31 Americans. All told, the U.S. incarcerates nearly 25 percent of the world’s prisoners, even though it’s home to only 5 percent of the world’s inhabitants. The cost of our prison addiction is staggering. In recent years, America’s total criminal-justice tab—state, local, and federal—has ballooned to more than $200 billion a year."
Every text, without a context, is a pretext.
Senator Jim Webb's "Criminal Justice Crusade" and "The Caging of America" by Adam Gopnik of The New Yorker - provide disturbing insight into the counterproductive and bank-breaking penal colony we have created from motives as mixed as biblical vengeance and stock market profitability. (George Will recently wrote that it now costs about $35,000.00 a year to imprison someone. Stars and Stripes Magazine says that the annual cost of a prisoner at Guantanamo is $800,000.00, yes, eight hundred thousand dollars - http://www.stripes.com/news/annual-cost-to-house-a-captive-at-guantanamo-bay-is-800-000-1.160329)
Read either article below and you will never again look at America's prisons the way you do now.
Read both articles and your espistemological suppositions about "The True" and "The Good" will crumble.