Crime & Punishment
The United States has the highest documented incarceration rate in the world. As of December 31, 2010, the International Centre for Prison Studies (ICPS) at King's College London estimated 2,266,832 prisoners from a total population of 310.64 million as of this date (730 per 100,000 in 2010). In comparison, Russia had the second highest, at 577 per 100,000, Canada was 123rd in the world as 117 per 100,000, and China had 120 per 100,000. A recent article by Fareed Zakaria also shows that Japan has 63 per 100,000, Germany has 90, France has 96, South Korea has 97, and ­Britain has 153. In the same article it states that in 1980, the US had 150 per 100,000, so why the increase - the war on drugs. Drug convictions represent half the inmate population. Some have said that the US had more people in prison than Stalin had in his gulags. Watch out for extremist rhetoric like this. Stalin reported killed 20m people, so you wont find them in his prison population numbers. There is also much written today justifiably about wrongful convictions overturned by DNA evidence years later. According to the Innocence Project 292 convictions have been overturned by DNA evidence. While each one of these wrongful convictions is a travesty and the causes must be corrected immediately, it represents only .0001269% of the total prisoner population. Some wild extrapolations estimate up to 20,000 wrongful convictions, or about 1%. So the much maligned American justice system gets 99.% right in the worst case extrapolation. Though I could find no statistics, this is probably the #1 effectiveness rate in the world, too. Anyone would like a 99% winning percentage, but we can and should still do better. Also, within three years of their release, 67% of former prisoners are rearrested and 52% are re-incarcerated, a recidivism rate that is alarming. Plus, African Americans are imprisoned at a rate roughly seven times higher than whites, and Hispanics at a rate three times higher than whites, giving rise to racial profiling accusations and poverty as justification, but interestingly no other reasoning for this high percentage is publicly debated. More than 60% of the people in prison are now racial and ethnic minorities. For Black males in their thirties, 1 in every 10 is in prison or jail on any given day, and some say it is a higher rate than were slaves in 1850. These trends have been intensified by the disproportionate impact of the "war on drugs," in which two-thirds of all persons in prison for drug offenses are people of color. There is clearly much to do in this country to improve our criminal justice system. Below and in the sub-category of cyberattacks, you will see both sides debate the issue. The Gray Area believes the "Right on Crime" Statement of Principles is the best blueprint we have seen to reform the American Criminal Justice system. Also, the Overcriminalization guide prepared by The Heritage Foundation is an eye opener.

How 'misinformation' works

from The Gray Area:
Is there a 'Blue State' or 'Red State' Crime problem? Well, as with everything else, it depends who you ask. Sometimes it is hard to catch the 'misinformation' we are presented by politicians and the media. In this case, it is easy. "With Republicans hammering [Dems] over rising murder rates, Democrats have come up with a new line of defense: Republicans, they claim, are the ones really responsible for the surge in homicides. The United States, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) recently declared, has a “red state murder problem.” No, it doesn’t. The bogus claim comes from a March study by the Democratic think tank Third Way, which purports to show that, contrary to “the right-wing obsession over homicides in Democratic cities: murder rates are far higher in Trump-voting red states than Biden-voting blue states.” According to Third Way, of the top 10 states with the highest per-capita murder rates in 2020, eight (Missouri, Louisiana, Kentucky, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, Mississippi and Arkansas) voted for Donald Trump, while just two (New Mexico and Georgia) voted for Joe Biden. “Republicans seem to do a much better job of talking about stopping crime than stopping crime,” Jim Kessler, an author of the report, told Axios. One problem with that: In most of these red states, the high murder rates are driven by the lethal violence in their blue cities." For the most part the 'misinformation' we are provided, like this, is not false on its face. It is misleading in that it highlights points which serves one side over the other and ignores the bigger reality of the issue. If you say that 1,000 deaths occur on I-95 and then try to blame those who live along the highway, you would not be wrong. But, you leave out that these deaths are traffic accidents involving cars and animals. Well, that adds much needed specificity to help you determine how to correct the problem. It is this kind of headline 'misinformation' that you see in the 'Blue State' vs 'Red State  murder issue and that we are inundated with on every issue on a daily basis. The same applies to 'electric cars'. No wonder everyone parrots the data points that fit their political preferences, ignoring a more complete data set from which decisions can be made, which is usually resident on both sides. The sad part is the media either knows this game or doesn't.  If the media participates knowingly, that is unethical or illegal.  If they don't investigate enough to uncover the game, that is journalistic incompetence. Even the reliably far-left Washington Post includes the following support for the truth in a recent article trying to defuse the 'Blue State' Crime problem. Urban areas in general don’t do so well, with homicide rates in core counties of large metropolitan areas higher than elsewhere over the years, and rising faster in 2020 and 2021. With the totality of data available, it is clear that large cities drive crime rates in the states. And, that the overwhelming majority of those cities are run by Democrats. So, what then is the impact of any unique policies the Democrats use in those cities that are not used by Republicans or Independents in large cities? Then we would know what is at fault and what to do to correct the rising 'crime problem'. Vary your news sources and dig below the headlines to find what's missing. More From AEI: More From Heritage Foundation:

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