by Chet Hardin
The Land of the Free has yet again distinguished itself with its ability to produce horrifying irony.
According to the 2011 report by Human Rights Watch, America still leads the world (yep, that includes all of those uncivilized countries that we like to pretend we are better than) in the number of our citizens that we incarcerate:
As of June 2009 the US continued to have both the largest incarcerated population (2,297,400, a decrease of 0.5 percent since December 2008) and the highest per capita incarceration rate in the world (748 inmates per 100,000 residents).
See? Yay us!
And while we incarcerate more people per capita than anyone else in the world, we apparently do little to make sure that these sentences, a lot of them for drug offenses, don't include a standardized raping.
Sexual violence, meanwhile, remains commonplace in US prisons. The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) reported in August 2010 that 88,500 prison and jail inmates had experienced some form of sexual victimization between October 2008 and December 2009.
According to a survey mandated by the Prison Rape Elimination Act and analyzed by the BJS, an estimated 12 percent of youth held in juvenile facilities reported that they had been sexually abused.
And if this isn't enough to bolster the old pride, here's something extra something for us Coloradans:
But there were highly disturbing developments as well: in Colorado, for example, women inmates were subjected to degrading, routine, suspicionless searches requiring them to open their labia for inspection by guards.