This article, addressing America's high incarceration rate
, offers more provocative bits of data than I really wanna read in one sitting. Of course, the usual topics show up: drug laws, racial composition of the prison population, statistics showing which red states have the highest incarceration rate and which blue states rank lowest. Although, to my surprise, none of the familar stats showing that we rank with China, South Africa, North Korea, The Gulag, and Nazi Germany for number of prisoners. I won't offer any moral condemnation here or weigh in with my theories of why this is, what it means, when it'll doom us in the future, nor how we'll improve going forward. You've heard it all, so have I, there's no need to go there.
But the story's alarming nonetheless. Arresting, you might say. The most interesting & disturbing part relates to an increase among prisoners in municipal jails who've been indicted, but not yet convicted & sentenced, for state & federal crimes. 62 percent
of those held in local jails are not convicted
. The Head of the Federal Bureau of Justice Statistics told reporters, "the jail population is increasingly unconvicted, [j]udges are perhaps more reluctant to release people pretrial."
Denied bail, because of the apparent "risk of flight." I have some ideas, but I'll leave the conclusions to you.