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US Prisons: Still #1 | The Nation

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Christopher Hayes

Christopher Hayes

Nation editor-at-large and host of MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes.

US Prisons: Still #1

The United States' rapidly metastasizing prison population has reached a new milestone: as the NYT reports, today, more than one in 100 Americans are behind bars.

For some groups, the statistic is still more grim: one in 36 for Hispanic adults, and one in 9 for black men between the ages of 20 and 34.

With the onset of the U.S. "war on drugs," across states, the growth rate in prison spending has outpaced every other budget item except healthcare. Since the 1980s, national spending on jails and prisons has swelled by 619 percent, and now stands at an annual $60 billion.

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