For the first time, 1 of every 100 Americans is behind bars, reports the New York Times. Our prison population is the largest in the world â€” 1.6 million â€” with China second at 1.5 million. The prison costs are â€œblowing a hole in state budgets,â€ according to a report by the Pew Center on States.
Americaâ€™s lock â€™em up fervor in the past two decades has had an undeniable impact in reducing crime rates, but the report says too many nonviolent offenders are going to prison.
Kansas was one of 12 states that showed a decline in prison population in 2007.
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