February 28, 2008

1 in 100 American Adults Are Behind Bars

Terrible news:

For the first time in the nation’s history, more than one in 100 American adults is behind bars, according to a new report.

Nationwide, the prison population grew by 25,000 last year, bringing it to almost 1.6 million. Another 723,000 people are in local jails. The number of American adults is about 230 million, meaning that one in every 99.1 adults is behind bars.

Incarceration rates are even higher for some groups. One in 36 Hispanic adults is behind bars, based on Justice Department figures for 2006. One in 15 black adults is, too, as is one in nine black men between the ages of 20 and 34.

The report, from the Pew Center on the States, also found that only one in 355 white women between the ages of 35 and 39 is behind bars, but that one in 100 black women is.

All the more reason to support the Prison Dharma Network (and their beautiful new website) and other great folks bringing the dharma to this growing sector of our society.

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Philip Ryan's picture

Essential Spirit correctly points out that the Engaged Zen Foundation, founded by the Venerable Kobutsu Malone, and the Dharma Friends Prison Outreach Project, are also doing great work on bringing the dharma to prisoners. Thanks very much for that.

More than 1 in 100 Americans are Behind Bars | Essential Spi's picture

[...] Tricycle Editors’ Blog comments on the report and suggests that it’s a good reason to support the Prison Dharma Network. We agree. Prison Dharma projects always begin by recognizing the humanity and inherent worth of even the most violent inmates. If we don’t begin with that basic recognition, the situation will only continue to worsen. Other worthy Prison Dharma projects include The Engaged Zen Foundation in the Northeast, and Arkansas’ Dharma Friends Prison Outreach Project. Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages. [...]

lalit's picture

http://www.kansascity.com/273/story/507012.html
Race remains the biggest problem. The Pew report said 51.8 percent of the 7,720 single incident cases were racial bias; 18.9 percent, religion; 15.5 percent, sexual orientation bias; 12.7 percent, ethnicity/national origin; and 1 percent was against people with disabilities.

The report found that being black in America continues to be a lightning rod for hate. Of the 4,737 single-bias hate crimes, 66.2 percent were anti-black. But hate crimes don’t all go in one direction. The report said 21.3 percent were anti-white; 6.1 percent were against people in a multiple-race group; 4.9 percent were anti-Asian/Pacific Islander; and 1.5 percent were anti-American Indian/Alaskan Native.

Of the 1,233 cases that were ethnic/national origin bias, 62.4 percent were anti-Hispanic.

The study found that the greatest number of hate crimes, 31 percent, occurred in or near where the victims lived.

People point to the noose incident and fight at a high school in Jena, La., but such cases were also reported in Kansas and Missouri in 2000. According to the FBI data, Kansas had more hate crimes reported than Missouri did with 109 compared with 78. However, Kansas had more agencies supplying data with 49 compared with 26.

But it is easy to hate when people of different races in the U.S. continue to live in mostly segregated communities. A Pew Research Center report found that “blacks remained the nation’s most segregated racial or ethnic group.”

“Roughly three-in-ten Hispanic and black students attended schools in 2005-06 that were nearly all minority, with fewer than 5 percent white students,” the Pew Research report said. The numbers have gone up since 1993-94 when they were 25 percent for Hispanic students and 28 percent for black students.

A re-segregation of America is taking place. The courts and U.S. communities have withdrawn from the civil-rights driven initiative like President Rutherford B. Hayes withdrew U.S. troops from the South, ending Reconstruction and beginning a long period of separate and unequal conditions.

The Pew Research report said 62 percent of African Americans vs. 40 percent of whites favor residential integration. The study also found that only 23 percent of whites think it is more important to have racially mixed schools vs. 56 percent of blacks.

Equal education is unlikely to happen in the U.S. if whites – with the historical privilege of getting the best – won’t share with others. Stereotypes, prejudices and bigotry will continue to boil over scarring more people with hate crimes.

The problem won’t go away unless everyone helps to end the hate. The good news is that despite the differences and disparities, there is still hope that hate crimes can end and true integration with shared privileges can occur.

The Pew Research report found that eight-in-ten whites and blacks have maintained a favorable impression of each other. That can be the foundation for better relations.

This Pew Research survey has suggested the continuinig discrimination against African Americans and other minorities.

It is nice to see such comments here on Pew Research. It is surprising to see irony of this Trucycle magazine, a person like Gandhi who promoted caste and racism in India and else where was given the prestige of first page on this magazine.

Please reflect your views on why Gandhi strongly supported the racism and aparthied. As a result majority of Indian oppressed population hate Gandhi.

Here is a answer why he is one of the most dangerous personality on the earth.

GANDHI ON BLACKS AND RACE RELATIONS

• “A general belief seems to prevail in the colony that the Indians are little better, if at all, than the savages or natives of Africa. Even the children are taught to believe in that manner, with the result that the Indian is being dragged down to the position of a raw Kaffir.”

»Reference: The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, Government of India (CWMG), Vol I, p. 150

• Regarding forcible registration with the state of blacks: “One can understand the necessity for registration of Kaffirs who will not work.”

»Reference: CWMG, Vol I, p. 105

• “Why, of all places in Johannesburg, the Indian Location should be chosen for dumping down all the Kaffirs of the town passes my comprehension. ..the Town Council must withdraw the Kaffirs from the Location.”

»Reference: CWMG, Vol I, pp. 244–245

• Regarding the Hindu Theological Seminary: “I only wish that such institutions will crop up all over India and be the means of preserving the Aryan religion in its purity.” - Oct. 2, 1896

»Reference: CWMG, Vol IV, p. 93

• His description of black inmates: “Only a degree removed from the animal.” Also, “Kaffirs are as a rule uncivilized - the convicts even more so. They are troublesome, very dirty and live almost like animals.” - Mar. 7, 1908

»Reference: CWMG, Vol VIII, pp. 135-136

• Concerning South Africa’s White League fears of mass Asiatic immigration: “We believe as much in the purity of race as we think they do, only we believe that they would best serve these interests, which are as dear to us as to them, by advocating the purity of all races, and not one alone. We believe also that the white race of South Africa should be the predominating race.” - Sept. 24, 1903

»Reference: CWMG, Vol I, p. 105

for further reading please spend some time to read this blog and comment on
http://tricycleblog.wordpress.com/2008/02/26/gandhi/#comment-2423