“The U.S. now holds close to a quarter of the world’s prisoners, even though it accounts for just 5 percent of the global population…The cost of America’s prison expansion has been staggering, the study notes. In most states, spending on corrections represents the third highest category of general fund expenditures, ranked only behind Medicaid and education.”
My concern is with the social costs, for any race or class.
“The social costs have likewise been steep, particularly for minorities and the poor. In 2011, for example, about 60 percent of everyone behind bars was either black or Hispanic. Black men under the age of 35 with no high school diploma are now more likely to be in jail than working in the labor market, the report notes.
These trends extend to family life. In 2009, 62 percent of black children age 17 or younger, whose parents had not completed high school, had experienced a parent being sent to prison. Among white children, the rate was 15 percent.”