In doing research for this, combined with the information I already knew and the data I was finding my blood would begin to boil. Then my anger and frustration with the Government, State, and Local official’s would surface. It was due to these officials and the way our system operates that, I could not go into the legal field that I wanted. Our countries judicial system has huge flaws. So instead, I went into accounting, less frustrating, numbers are always the same 2+2=4 no matter the day, week, month, or the officials’ mood. With that said let me introduce the United States prison and judicial control population system.
According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, there are currently 122 federal prisons, 1,719 state prisons, 2,259 juvenile correctional facilities, and 3,163 local jails all located within the borders of the United States and for the year 2014, those facilities housed 2,242,000 inmates. The only type of facilities I did not include was territorial prisons or immigration detention centers. How do so many individuals get placed into such facilities, some are there for sever crime and will never be released others are repeat offenders of lesser or petty crimes, and in some cases I believe it is lack of good official representative doing their job or an official in the judicial system believe it is best. There is a huge crime rate statistic in our country and therefore to get a closer look research must be done to find the true factors behind these staggering numbers, and what is being done in our country to prevent or should I say discourage these numbers. For the purpose of this, I am only going to compare a small number of states; due to the fact of putting, the entire United States prison research into this would require the writing of a book and not a blog post.
Idaho will be the main state of topic, because it has been my home for 52 years. Idaho’s population is 1,654,930 with 12,000 actually living behind bars but to get a real picture of how many individuals are really under the control of the judicial system then we need to add a few more factors. The criminal justice system does more than control those that are incarcerated they also control anyone on parole or probation. Idaho has 4,100 people on parole and another 33,000 on probation making Idaho’s grand total 49,100 under judicial control, give or take a few that are in transition.
West Virginia is the state just one-step than Idaho higher in, population with 1,844,128 people and 12,000 living incarcerated, same as Idaho yet they only have 9,700 on parole or probation for a grand total only hitting 21,700, with a higher population but less under judicial control.
Hawaii is the state just one-step below with a population of 1,431,603 they have 7,400 in incarceration and 22,500 on parole or probation making Hawaii’s total 29,900, I would expect Hawaii to have even lower numbers. These numbers provided by the US Census Bureau and the Prison Policy Initiative so who knows how correct they truly are but I am going to use them anyway.
Just for kicks and giggles, let us throw in bordering states like:
Wyoming, population 586,107, with 4,500 incarcerated and 5,790 on parole and probation for a ending total 10,290.
Montana 1,032,949 population, with 5,700 incarcerated 9,600 on parole or probation making a total 15,300.
Washington 7,277,536 population, with 36,000 incarcerated 102,500 on parole or probation giving Washington a grand total 138,500.
Oregon population 4,086,752, with 23,000 incarcerated 60,000 parole or probation for 83,000 total.
Nevada, 2 943,409 population and this surprised me with only 22,000 incarcerated and 17,700 for parole and probation giving them a total 39,700 and that is still less than Idaho.
Utah with a population of 3,047,340 with 13,000 people incarcerated, and 15,200 on parole or probation making a total 28,200 under judicial control.
Now the mind is overwhelmed with all this data. At this point, we need to discover how these individuals ended up living in some type of lock-up facility, or under judicial control, which usually involves a crime of some sort. We need to address what elements must be present before someone’s actions are considered being criminal. I am not sure if anyone noticed but out of the eight states in the research data, only two had higher grand totals than Idaho. Washington has a population of 5622606 more and 89400 in the judicial system. Oregon has a population of 2431822 more than Idaho and only 33900 more controlled by the judicial system. However, there are states in the research that have higher populating but they have lower counts of individuals controlled by the judicial system. I do not know what that says about Idaho, what do you think it says? Either we have a lot more criminals’ or we have a great or maybe a horrible judicial system.