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This site is the inspiration of a former reporter/photographer for one of New England's largest daily newspapers and for various magazines. The intent is to direct readers to interesting political articles, and we urge you to visit the source sites. Any comments may be noted on site or directed to KarisChaf at gmail.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Five Stunning Facts About America's Prison System You Haven't Heard -- Submitted by Sean Kerrigan via SeanKerrigan.com, Posted at Zero Hedge

We’ve done several exposés on the prison system in America, including The Prison System Runs Amok, Expands at Frightening Pace (Sept 6, 2012) and Selling the American Dream is the Biggest Market of All (Sept. 30, 2013), but there’s still much more to be said about this topic. America’s massive prison system is creating a long list of unintended consequences, some of which will effect all of us in the coming years. To help explain just how bad things have gotten, we’ve compiled this list of the most stunning facts and statistics on the America’s prison system today.

1) Because of its prison system, the US is the only country in the world where more men are raped than women.

According to the 2011 report from Department of Justice, nearly one in 10 prisoners report having been raped or sexually assaulted by other inmates, staff or both. According to a revised report from the US Department of Justice, there were 216,000 victims of rape in US prisons in 2008. That is roughly 600 a day or 25 every hour.

Those numbers are of victims, not instances, which would be much higher since many victims were reportedly assaulted multiple times throughout the year. Excluding prison rapes, there about 200,000 rapes per year in America, and roughly 91 percent of those victims are women. If these numbers are accurate, this means that America is the only country in the world where more men are raped than women.

Even if the number of unreported rapes outside of prison were substantially larger than most experts believe, the fact that many victims in prison tend to be raped repeatedly would indicate that rape against men is at least comparable to rape against women.

Kendell Spruce was one such inmate, sentenced to six years for forging a check for which he hoped to purchase crack cocaine. In a National Prison Rape Elimination Commission testimony, Spruce said:
“I was raped by at least 27 different inmates over a nine month period. I don’t have to tell you that it was the worst nine months of my life… [I] was sent into protective custody. But I wasn’t safe there either. They put all kinds of people in protective custody, including sexual predators. I was put in a cell with a rapist who had full-blown AIDS. Within two days, he forced me to give him oral sex and anally raped me.”
Spruce was diagnosed with “full blown AIDS” in 2002 and died three years later.

2) There are more black slaves in America today than in 1850.

This sounds outrageous. How can there be more slaves in America today than before the Civil War? First, consider there are more black men in prison today than there were slaves in 1850, according to Michelle Alexander, an Ohio State law professor, who cited the last census immediately before the Civil War. This comparison not account for changes in population, but the statistic is accurate in terms of sheer numbers .

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