Saturday, January 6, 2007

We're # 1 (But Not in a Good Way)

We wish it were OU football or OSU basketball, but it's a much more dubious honor. Oklahoma is—again!—number one in women in prison.

Figures released by the Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Statistics show that Oklahoma had 2,455 women in prison at the end of 2005, making our incarceration rate 129 per 100,000, almost double the national rate of 65.

To what do we owe this tremendous achievement? Apparently, Oklahomans like locking up females. According to a source cited in the Tulsa World, other states have higher arrest rates for women than Oklahoma, but we send more of them to jail. The state justice official also told the World that other states have treatment programs for women that keep them out of the poky.

But why treat these lady criminals when we can lock 'em up? Besides, more jails means new jobs—but don't built those prisons near our backyard.

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