Disgusting: 16 States Now Have More People In Prisons Than College Housing

How does that saying go? Either you build a school for the child or you build a prison for the man. Today we are living in an age where people, who are serving time for non-violent offenses, are starting to become more popular than students in college housing.

You might not have known, but the United States currently has the biggest population of prisoners in the world, both in terms of the number incarcerated and as a percentage of the total population, and we have just recently surpassed Soviet Union-era numbers for the amount of incarcerated individuals.

What’s even more alarming, 16 states have more people in prison than college housing. Facing a monumental population of 7 million people in our correctional facilities (which includes people in jail, prison, parole, and probation), states have had to buckle down and build more and more prisons (California just crossed the threshold for more prisons than libraries).

The 16 states are: California, Nevada, Arizona, Idaho, New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Alaska.

Via Vox.com

Via Vox.com

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Of these 16 states, 11 are Republican states, and 5 are Democratic.

When it comes to combating crime (instead of packing the prisons like GOP states do), Democratic states having been cutting incarceration rates AND crime rates. The top 10 states for the most dramatic incarceration and crime reduction (in terms of a correlation to each other) are:

  1. California with a 25% reduction in imprisonment and an 11% reduction in crime
  2. Hawaii, with a 23% reduction in imprisonment and a 14% reduction in crime
  3. Rhode Island with a 19% reduction in imprisonment and a 13% reduction in crime
  4. Colorado with a 19% reduction in imprisonment and a 17% reduction in crime
  5. Connecticut with a 17% reduction in imprisonment and a 20% reduction in crime
  6. New Jersey with a 16% reduction in imprisonment and a 17% reduction in crime
  7. Alaska with a 15% reduction in imprisonment and a 2% reduction in crime
  8. South Carolina with 14% reduction in imprisonment and a 17% reduction in crime
  9. Maryland with a 12% reduction in imprisonment and a 24% reduction in crime
  10. New York with a 12% reduction in imprisonment and 7% reduction in crime

Of these 10 states, who have reduced the overall crime rate by 13%, 8 voted Democrat in the last election.

According to Vox:

One study found that sentences in the United States for burglary are about three times longer than sentences in England for the same crime.

The disparity is even bigger for drug cases. A first-time offender convicted of possessing a kilogram of heroin could get 4 months of prison in England. In America, the federal mandatory minimum sentence is 10 years.

Therein lies the problem, America. We say that we can’t afford to pay for anything related to college for students, but we seemingly can fund prisoners without a problem.

Featured image via Metrics Maps