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A Matter of Fact

The racial makeup of California prisoners is: 29% white, 33% black and 34% brown. But in California's supermax, Pelican Bay SHU, 14% are white, 17% are black and an astounding 60% are brown. In California's other SHU for male prisoners at Corcoran, 18% are white, 23% black and 55% brown.

A 1992 report published in Business Week showed that immigrants in the U.S. pay $90 billion a year in taxes and collect $5 billion a year in welfare benefits. Even in Los Angeles (remember California's Proposition 187?), undocumented workers pay $1.8 billion more in taxes than they ever get back in services. (Does imprisonment in SHU count as a service?)

In California whites make up 53% of the total population, 35% of the people arrested and only 29% of state prisoners. On the other hand, blacks make up 7% of the state's population, 18% of those arrested, and 33% of the state's prison population.

From 1991 to 1993, 13 million U.S. workers were eliminated from their jobs by downsizing.

The Fortune 500 firms shed 4.4 million jobs between 1980 and 1993. During that same period their sales increased 1.4 times, assets increased 2.3 times and CEO compensation increased 6.1 times.

In 1974 CEO's were making 35 times as much as their employees; now they are making 185 times as much.

According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, in 1988, the federal government spent $4.7 billion on the Drug War. The latest budget calls for $15.1 billion to be spent in 1997.

Between the administrations of Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, the U.S. Dept. of Justice's budget has swelled from $2.3 billion to $16 billion and the number of federal prosecutors has nearly doubled.

Convicted criminal defendants are often sentenced to provide community service rather than serve prison or jail time. According to one estimate, the California Transit Authority in Los Angeles and Ventura counties alone garner more than $30 million worth of free labor each year through the provision of "community service."

There were almost 3.8 million adult men and women on probation or parole in the U.S. at the end of 1995-- more than 3 million on probation and more than 700,000 on parole. The total number of adults in the U.S. under some form of correctional supervision (probation, parole, jails, prison) totaled more than 5.3 million, which was 2.8% of all U.S. adults in 1995.

In 1994 the corporations listed on the New York Stock Exchange posted profits 14% higher than in 1993. In 1995 their profits were 37% higher than in 1994.

The stock prices of Fortune 500 companies increased by 35 percent in 1995. The aerospace industry recorded a 22 percent profit increase on a revenue increase of only 5 percent. The use of temporary workers (i.e. no job security, no regular hours and no benefits) increased 13 percent. Real (inflation adjusted) wages remained flat. By mid-1995, Unit Labor Costs showed a zero growth rate for the first four-quarter period in thirty years.

A Rand Corporation study cited a 12.4% increase from 1989 in the income gap between the top and bottom tenth of the U.S. population.

From 1990 to 1995, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice's annual operating budget increased from $700 million to $2.2 billion.

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