what is an acceptable incarceration rate?
State prisons held a total of 1,274,600 inmates on all charges at yearend 2004. In absolute numbers an estimated 633,700 inmates in State prison at yearend 2004 (the latest year for which offense data is available) were held for violent offenses: 151,500 for murder, 178,900 for robbery, 129,400 for assault, and 153,800 for rape and other sexual assaults. In addition, 265,600 inmates were held for property offenses, 249,400 for drug offenses, and 88,900 for public-order offenses.
According to the American Corrections Association, the average daily cost per state prison inmate per day in the US is $67.55. State prisons held 249,400 inmates for drug offenses in 2006. That means it cost states approximately $16,846,970 per day to imprison drug offenders, or $6,149,144,050 per year.
Department of corrections data show that about a fourth of those initially imprisoned for nonviolent crimes are sentenced for a second time for committing a violent offense. Whatever else it reflects, this pattern highlights the possibility that prison serves to transmit violent habits and values rather than to reduce them.
However, one thing you folks may be missing when you say that China has a lower incarceration rate than the US: over there, they just shoot many of their criminals, and then bill their families for the bullet.
You are factually wrong on this.
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