Did Joe tell it all?

I caught only about 10 minutes total of his show last night. What I got from his tirade was that 1 in 32 of us were in Jail, most likely for drugs. He used a little analogy about how for every 32 people we know, one of them is in jail. I also got that it was mostly Blacks that are put in jail and that they were there because of the racist nature of our system.

From Liberal Outpost
The headline tells it all: “1 in 32 U.S. Adults in Prison.” That statistic is very telling about America and our values. We’d rather cut and hack away at a cancer like crime, rather than try to fix the problems that lead to it.

The 1:32 ratio kind of bugged me. It seemed a bit high and coupled with Joe’s vigor, I figured it was wrong. Others might say that Joe has stretched the truth to the point of lying. Now that I think about it, I am one of those others.

Going a little closer to the source I find the headline

1 Out Of 32 Americans Under Correctional Supervision
While 1 out of every 142 Americans is now actually in prison, 1 out of every 32 of us is either in prison or on parole from prison, according to yet another report on Americans behaving badly from the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Is there a difference between “1 in 32 adults in Prison” and “1 out of 32 Americans under Correctional Supervision?” Sure there is, Joe’s statement isn’t the truth and 1 in 32 makes for better radio shows. 1 in 142 is no where near as inflammatory as 1 in 32.

I do see a positive nature to these facts that I am sure Joe must have touched on, although in my brief listening time I didn’t hear it. I find it positive that so many convicted criminals are getting paroled and not just rotting away in prison. We could stand to be a little more selective in who is let out. Keep them in based on risk not race.
But what about the system being racist? Many more people than Joe keep on making claims that the system is unfairly punishing blacks, Hispanics etc. as evidenced by the disproportionate number of them in prison. But the same people are always dodging this question: Are blacks, Hispanic etc. guilty of more crimes per capita than whites?

I think all criminals should be punished regardless of race. And that’s all that needs be said.

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