October 5, 2007
Senator Jim Webb is asking Congress to look at high incarceration rates in the United States.
Webb chaired a meeting of the congressional Joint Economic Committee yesterday, where he labeled the racial makeup of America's prisons "alarming."
Webb says that such a large prison and jail population, more
than 2 million people in the United States, has negative impacts
on employment and productivity.
Brown University economist Glenn Loury testified that violent crime began declining in the 1990s, when states began putting more people behind bars, serving longer sentences.
Loury blasted the "War on Drugs" and what he called its disparate and adverse impact on African-Americans. Loury said blacks and Hispanics make up about one-fourth of the overall U.S. population but about two-thirds of state and federal prison populations.
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