News & Analysis
Is It a Prison Planet? ... One Out of Three Now Face Arrest in US
"Arrest is a pretty common experience," says Robert Brame, a criminologist at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte and principal author of the study. Nearly one in three people will be arrested by the time they are 23, a study to be published today in Pediatrics found. – USA Today
Dominant Social Theme: It's for your own good, dammit.
Free-Market Analysis: This is a stunning statistic, in our view. According to a study generated via numbers collected by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics and reported in USA Today (see above excerpt) one out of every three people in the US will face arrest by the time they are 23.
Not everyone will end up in jail, of course, but the idea that 30 percent of US citizens will have some sort of criminal-oriented interaction with civilian or federal police is surely a startling statistic to many, even American "law-and-order" types.
The article goes on to make the point that nearly 50 years ago US citizens were stunned by a study that found over 20 percent of all US citizens faced some sort of arrest. The interactions between law enforcement and US denizens has thus grown by ten percent in the past decades – or roughly one-third. Here's some more from the article:
Criminologist Alfred Blumstein says the increase in arrests for young people in the latest study is unsurprising given several decades of tough crime policies. "I was astonished 44 years ago. Most people were," says Blumstein, a professor of operations research at the Heinz College at Carnegie Mellon University who served with Christensen on President Lyndon Johnson's crime task force.
Now, Blumstein says, youth may be arrested for drugs and domestic violence, which were unlikely offenses to attract police attention in the 1960s. "There's a lot more arresting going on now," he says.
The new study is an analysis of data collected between 1997 and 2008 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The annual surveys conducted over 11 years asked children, teens and young adults between the ages of 8 and 23 whether they had ever been arrested by police or taken into custody for illegal or delinquent offenses.
The question excluded only minor traffic offenses, so youth could have included arrests for a wide variety of offenses such as truancy, vandalism, underage drinking, shoplifting, robbery, assault and murder — any encounter with police perceived as an arrest, Brame says. Some of the incidents perceived and reported by the young people as arrests may not have resulted in criminal charges, he says.
What is astonishing – as related above – is these figures do NOT apparently include many traffic offenses, which is where most people might be expected to have the most police interaction at any age – and especially at a youthful one.
So what's changed? The article quotes criminologist Megan Kurlychek as saying that localities handled many minor offenses more informally 40 years ago than they do now. "Society is a lot less tolerant of these teenage behaviors," she says.
The ramifications of so many arrests are as serious as the figures are startling. In modern society, arrest records follow people wherever they go (certainly in the US) and interfere with the ability to gain access to student loans and housing, or even to find a job.
Kurlychek is quoted as saying "Arrests have worse consequences than ever for these juveniles and follow the individual forever." And she adds, "The average teenager who steals an iPod or is arrested for possession of marijuana — why do we make that define their lives?"
Such statistics are the reason why we've written a series of articles about private justice and claimed that the current state-run justice system in the US and the West is simply one more elite dominant social theme on its way to collapse in this Internet era.
We've also written that the "state-run justice meme" will be one of the last to collapse because it is one of the most important and heavily promoted. Most people simply cannot conceive of a justice system that takes place in the absence of a state intermediary.
Of course, hundreds of years ago people would not have been able to conceive of the system that is in place now. The idea that the state provides (pays for) lawmakers, judges, juries, prosecutors, police and penitentiaries would have been seen as the worst form of totalitarianism.
Today, people still cannot conceive of another system even though countries are jailing increasing numbers of people or, as in China, executing them arbitrarily for "crimes" such as drug-dealing that would not even have been punishable in past centuries.
The US is perhaps the biggest offender in terms of incarceration rates. Not only – as we can see from this article – are criminal interactions at an all-time high, but the incarceration rate in the US is the highest in the world by far, with some 3-4 million people under lock and key at any one time.
The system itself is increasingly ludicrous. At some point the cost to society of passing so many laws, generating so many criminals and then locking them up will become insupportable. The alternative will be seemingly to having a society in which half the population is incarcerated while the other half finds employment as prison guards.
For tens of thousands of years, people utilized what we call private justice. There were detailed arrangements worked out to deter crime – including vendettas and duels. Justice also took place on a clan level and within the context of agreed-upon private judges.
This latter arrangement was "lower-case" common law and likely did not rely on precedent, which is another part of modern justice's insupportable arrangements. Every "case" is supposed to generate a "precedent" which is then reapplied in the name of "fairness."
Of course there is nothing fair about it all. The result is merely an appreciating level of charges that can be brought for any given human behavior. "The more laws, the more criminals," – supposedly an old Japanese proverb. Here are some recent article we've written on private justice and the necessity to return to it within the context of the current insupportable nature of the Western system:
There likely is no such thing as "justice." It is an abstract concept – like a nation-state or fiat money. These are dominant social themes created and implemented by a voracious power elite that hopes to leverage its control into world domination.
So what is justice really? It is merely the ability of people to work out their differences in the least murderous way possible with the least amount of damage to their lives. Does the current system, with its emphasis on a hypothetical "debt to society" perform the requisite task efficiently? To ask that question is to answer it.
Posted by Danny B on 04/13/13 09:06 PM
Governor Brown goes to jail?
Click to view link
Posted by Fimbulvinter on 02/14/12 06:55 PM
In USA a person is supposedly innocent until proven guilty, but police, employers and others routinely treat those with arrest records as criminals, even if charges were never brought, dropped or the persons were acquitted. At a minimum, this class of records should be deleted after a short time unless the person is actually convicted of a crime. Strangely, it is easier in many states for a convicted criminal to get a pardon, annulment or record sealed than it is for an innocent person to have an arrest record deleted!
Posted by James Jaeger on 02/14/12 12:08 AM
We have to find out the names of the people that wrote and voted for the PATRIOT Act and get these people out of the government.
Posted by samson on 02/09/12 06:07 PM
I can share a note on this. In the mid 1930's, I was picked up @1:30 am on
a Sunday selling newspapers as the nightclubs & movies were closing. I was 10 years old. I was driven 4 miles to my home & my Mother told not to let it happen again.
Posted by Steve L. on 02/06/12 02:14 PM
You are both correct, dependent upon which scale is being addressed: it is, in, fact, a 10% rise if you are considering the 100% scale of the entire population; it is also a growth of 50%, relative to the level of 20% increasing to 30% within the past 50 years.
The only way that the sentence in the article could be construed as accurate (i.e. "or roughly one-third") is if they were addressing the approximate percent of the total population now subject to imprisonment.
Had the wording been worded confusion may have been avoided, but please don't miss the point of the whole article, that U.S. has been transformed in the past half century by the Prison-Industrial Complex.
Reply from The Daily Bell
We simply meant one third of the population ...
Posted by thiscreepingmalaise on 02/05/12 12:34 PM
hey smarty pants. The interactions between law enforcement and US denizens has grown by 10%. Based on interactions of 100% the number has risen from 20% to 30% which is indeed a 10% rise. Quit trying to be smarter than you are. Good Day!
Posted by Therealityis on 01/23/12 02:51 PM
"... ... .nearly 50 years ago US citizens were stunned by a study that found over 20 percent of all US citizens faced some sort of arrest. The interactions between law enforcement and US denizens has thus grown by ten percent in the past decades - or roughly one-third."
Bad math that. From 20% to 30% is an increase of one half.
Posted by nailheadtom on 01/19/12 11:07 AM
This is the fruit of what Paul Johnson described as Alexander Hamilton's "nomiocracy", rule by attorneys. In antiquity, a man's first daily concern was with the deity and his temporal representative the priest. As time went by and the secular overtook the ecclesiastical, the agents of state justice assumed the role once held by the priesthood, making and encoding the laws, administering them and dispensing punishment. The state is now the deity and rather than being sent to a hell no one believes in any longer, deviants are incarcerated. Neolithics like the Comanches had no such thing as a prison but the supposedly wiser and more humane "civilized" folk love sending strangers away to confinement.
Posted by Charlie on 01/15/12 01:25 PM
"Society is a lot less tolerant of these teenage behaviors," she says."
Yes. "We" who are our own government are doing it to ourselves. Nothing can be done. It is "our" fault for being less "tolerant". Has nothing to do with acclimating people to boots on the face or incarcerating people when they are young, less obligated and beaten down, full of energy and more likely to cause TPTB trouble. School only lasts so long.
Posted by Dilence Sogwood on 12/22/11 11:28 AM
How about interference with the Second Amendment?
Smoke some pot, and in many states you lose the right to bear arms. Obama can fire nukes and he was a dope smoker... But a few hundred thousand people who got arrested for something trivial can't get a firearm.
Reply from The Daily Bell
Really good point. Disarming America one law at a time ...
Posted by WellWisher on 12/21/11 09:00 AM
Reasons for getting arrested explained... .
Click to view link
Posted by speedygonzales on 12/20/11 02:54 AM
Scott Lazarowitz writes:
Within days after my article on due process and presumption of innocence, the U.S. Senate voted to empower the U.S. military to apprehend and detain indefinitely anyone in America, based on the whim of the soldier or military commander, and it will probably eventually include any armed agent of government including local police. As Jacob Hornberger noted, this new provision will codify the U.S. as just another one of many dictatorships throughout world history.
Click to view link
Posted by speedygonzales on 12/20/11 02:45 AM
The unfairness of American society is being recognized by many. Eighty-nine percent of Americans say they don't trust their government; Congress has a mere 9% approval rating; America's financial institutions are widely considered to be corrupt; the Occupy movement has emerged, some are seeking to enact an amendment to the Constitution to undo the Court's decision in Citizen's United.
But not doing the right thing, unfairness, injustice has deep roots in America. Oliver Wendell Holmes once confirmed that fairness or justice is not the concern of the Supreme Court. Only playing the game according to the rules is. Since the Court cannot be relied upon to "do the right thing," why should anyone believe that any American institution can be counted on to do it? What is required is a complete overhaul of the legal system.
Supreme Court denies a plaintiff what he is entitled to.
There is much dispute over the origins of the doctrine, but it certainly can be traced to England in the 1600s, a time when the Monarch was supreme and the legislature was subordinate. But the English abolished this practice in the Glorious Revolution (1688) when the idea that courts could declare statutes void was abolished as King James II was removed and the elected Parliament declared itself supreme.
The Glorious Revolution began modern English parliamentary democracy; never since has the monarch held absolute power, but Marshall introduced this anti-democratic practice into America by making the Court's decisions absolute. There is no procedure for voiding them. So John Marshall destroyed democracy in America a century after the principle he relied upon was removed from English law as the English progressed toward becoming a democracy.
Marshall gave America the monarchial legal system of England that was in effect in the 1600s, and since the American constitution presented no easy way to overturn this decision, America has been stuck with a 17th Century legal system ever since.
The backwardness of American society was insured in 1803. Marshall usurped the young nation's constitution and made the United States into just another reactionary seventeenth century European authoritarian society adorned with the trappings of democracy. At that moment, America's fate as a failed state was assured, if success is measured by the goals set forth for the nation in the Constitution's Preamble.
Click to view link
What forces have created a demoralized, passive, dis-couraged U.S. population?
Click to view link
There is no protestant in supreme court. Only this forces:
Click to view link
They are very loyal to the ruling class.
If U look into past on those forces:
Click to view link
What we can expect?
Posted by bob on 12/19/11 08:11 PM
Latest from Libya
Yesterday,Libya's websites reported that General Mohammad Eshkala was killed by Libyan Liberation Army fighters.
The general Eshkala has commanded the Omar al Megarief (Megarief) brigade. The unit defended the "gates of Tripoli". However, "this traitor who betrayed the honor of the Libyan leader and his cousin, Muammar Qaddafi, on August 21 2011, has opened the "gates of Tripoli" to the Bel Hadj battalion. These treacherous actions precipitated the fall of Tripoli."
Early, the Libyan Resistance condemned General Muhammad Eshkala to death. Yesterday, general Eshkala was executed in his own house.
Posted by oldman67 on 12/19/11 05:32 PM
Since the US has become more of a Socialist type government and a police state this is not surprising.
Posted by jkluttz on 12/19/11 04:59 PM
Americans don't seem to think about how much danger they or their children are in from this insane mess until they are jailed and their lives ruined. With the impression that there are more dangerous criminals afoot due to more arrests and more crimes, comes more demand from frightened citizens for "protection". Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama wouldn't have been presidents had they been caught using illegal drugs (to which I think each admitted), yet they are perfectly willing to see other people's children ruined for doing the same thing. What a country!
Posted by Ol' Grey Ghost on 12/19/11 04:51 PM
Try it again. It works now even within your "quote."
If not, just Google "Ol' Grey Ghost" and then search on the blog for the keywords "slavery, legal." Hope this helps you...
Posted by Jennifer on 12/19/11 04:37 PM
This link isn't working - it takes me back to this article!
Reply from The Daily Bell
It works above ...
Posted by Friend_of_John_Galt on 12/19/11 03:59 PM
The lack of common sense by those with police powers is amazing. Zero Tolerance programs for drugs, "weapons" (including a fruit knife in a kid's lunch box), and "sexual harassment" (a first grader kissing a fellow student) have resulted in legal action that makes zero sense. (Zero Tolerance = Zero Intelligence.)
With the accumulation of tens of thousands of administrative rules issued by Federal and State agencies each year -- with many of them including criminal sanctions. Many of these rules violate the "mens rea" requirement that was included in past criminal laws -- you had a mental disposition to commit the crime. With criminalized administrative rules, it's easy to violate "laws" without even knowing that what you've done may have a criminal sanction. Dump sewage into a storm drain that flows to a creek, and you've violated a CRIMINAL law (jail time could be given). Used to be that such things might result in a CIVIL violation (where you may have to pay a fine), but jail time was never an issue.
It's all about politicians and bureaucrats running out of control.
Today, if a prosecutor so chooses, almost 100% of the population could be charged and incarcerated because there are so many rules that you don't even know you're violating them. (Muddy rain water runs off your lot ... into a storm drain that flows into a regulated waterway -- and you've violated a law that could give you jail time.) Of course, prosecutors tend to ignore most of these "crimes" -- but if a person who's annoyed the power elite is observed, then bang... off to jail with you.
Posted by JM on 12/19/11 03:18 PM