Hearings to be held on prison population increase

Imagine the US has 25 percent of the world's prisoners. I wonder if Americans still think the US is soft on criminals. Probably. The US has the highest incarceration rate in the world.



SENATOR JIM WEBB (D-VA) will hold a Joint Economic Committee hearing
to explore the economic consequences and causes of and solutions to
the steep increase of the U.S. prison population. The hearing
entitled, "Mass Incarceration in the United States: At What Cost?" -
in light of 500 percent increase in prison populations in last 30
years - is scheduled for Thursday, October 4, 2007 at 10:00 am in
Room 216 of the Hart Senate Office Building. The United States has 25
percent of the world's prisoners, despite having only 5 percent of
the world's population. The JEC will examine why the United States
has such a disproportionate share of the world's prison population,
as well as ways to address this issue that responsibly balance public
safety and the high social and economic costs of imprisonment. Expert
witnesses have been asked to discuss the costs of maintaining a large
prison system; the long-term labor market and social consequences of
mass incarceration; whether the increase in the prison population
correlates with decreases in crime; and what alternative sentencing
strategies and post-prison re-entry programs have been most
successful at reducing incarceration rates in states and local



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