Western neo-liberal values…no thanks!
Via Sputnik News Agency…
The US prison population has soared to 2.3 million people costing the government more than $7 billion per year to keep them behind bars, a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report said.
“The federal inmate population has increased more than eight-fold since 1980,” the report released on Friday said.
The Bureau of Prisons’ (BOP) operating costs “have increased over time, and in fiscal year 2014 amounted to more than $7 billion, or 19 percent of DOJ’s [Department of Justice] total obligations,” the report added.
The United States has only five percent of the world’s population but it incarcerates 25 percent of the global prison population, making the country the world’s largest jailer, according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
To deal with the rapidly expanding prison population, the Justice Department has implemented three key initiatives to address overcrowding, rising costs and offender recidivism, the report explained.
One such Justice Department program, the Smart on Crime Initiative, involves prioritizing the prosecution of the most serious cases, the GAO said.
A second program, the Clemency Initiative, intends to encourage federal inmates who meet criteria that Justice Department established, to try and get their sentences commuted. Petitions for clemency have increased “from about 1,600 in 2011 to about 6,600 in 2014,” the GAO noted.
The third program is a Reentry Services Division (RSD) to help former prisoners reenter society after completing their sentences, the report stated.