Some salient statistics from a book review:
Book of the week: Punishing the Poor
6 August 2009
Louise Hardwick on the imbalance in the US social funding see-saw
"The US prison system employs seven times more people than IBM. The correctional services system in California alone has 45,000 employees - twice as many as Microsoft. From 1980 to 1990, government expenditure on public housing in the US fell by more than half, while expenditure on operating penal establishments more than doubled."
"when Ronald Reagan entered the White House in 1980 the US was spending $6.9 billion on operating its penal establishments but, by 1990, this had increased nearly fourfold to $26.1 billion."
To put these figures into context, read the review at
http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/s ... 407630&c=2
The author of the book is a Freddie King fan.