The proportion of the population of the United States behind bars – by far the highest in the world – continues to rise. A columnist from The Economist reports that “budget horrors have forced some states, such as California, to release a few thousand non-violent offenders”, but federal courts insist on long jail sentences. The result is overcrowded federal prisons.
An ex-felon I interviewed yesterday described how the prison in Forth Worth where he served time was so crowded that even when he was in solitary confinement, he had two cell mates.
“The joys of overcrowding”, Lexington’s notebook, 20 March 2010.