We’re Still #1 In Prisoners

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The United States has been locking up more of its citizens than any other country for some time now – and last year we extended our lead. A record seven million Americans – three per cent of the population – were behind bars, on probation or on parole in 2005, the Department of Justice announced last night. That number includes 2.2 million people currently locked up here in the Land of the Free, despite the fact that crime rates have been falling for over a decade. That gives us an incarceration rate several times higher than that of any Western European country, and far ahead of our closest competitor, liberty-loving Russia.

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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