Thursday, October 20, 2011

Mike's post on the impact of violence

I think one of the unseen affects of violence is how much it costs us financially.  This has severe effects on those people in America who are least able to afford it.  Let me give you a small example: violent crime leads people to prison, and the average cost for one prisoner is usually over 60,000 a year to house and control that prisoner.  We have more people in prison than any country in the world, so on a larger scale we are talking about an enormous amount of tax money that could better be used on schools, roads, public transport, job training programs, etc.  That kind of government project really makes an impact on peoples’ lives in a positive way.  But the amount of money spent on prison control seems necessary (for the good of society) but troubling, and out of proportion.

This article in the Denver Post speaks to this issue.
The most important paragraphs the writer uses state: 
"More than one in 100 adult Americans are in jail or prison, an all-time high that is costing state governments nearly $50 billion a year, in addition to more than $5 billion spent by the federal government, according to a report released Thursday.
With more than 2.3 million people behind bars at the start of 2008, the United States leads the world in both the number and the percentage of residents it incarcerates, leaving even far more populous China a distant second, noted the report by the nonpartisan Pew Center on the States." 

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