This system throws up many anomalies, for example, we produce an abundance of wealth, but the majority struggle for a decent life. Is that beyond our imagination to put right? I'm sure we can all come up with a fairer way of producing and distributing the wealth we create, but it would have to be outside capitalism to have any pretence at fairness. Another anomaly in this quagmire of greed we call the capitalist system, is “law and order”. The figures for England and Wales, for the year ending March 2013, state that there were 8.6 million crimes. This is a decrease of 9% on the previous year, it is also the lowest figure since 1981 and is less than half the peak figure of 1995.
So there we have it, falling crime rates across the country, and that's where the anomaly comes in. The prison population in this country has been rising steadily over the years. In England and Wales since 1993 to the present time the prison population has grown from 40,000, to today's figure of 97,000, in Scotland it rose from approximately 6,000 in 1997 to today's figure of around 7,000. Only in Northern Ireland has the figure fallen I,600 in 1996 to approximately 1,400 today, but Northern Ireland is a special case because of the “troubles” and the state's brutal repression, in the 80's and 90's.
This land of falling crime has more than 150 prisons and we incarcerate more of our people than any other European country. In England and Wales it is 149 per 100,000 of the population, with Scotland following close behind with 139 per 100,000. How do you square that circle, falling crime, increase prison population? One way to look at it, is that across the country as a whole, we have approximately 1% of the population with mental health problems, our prison population has 10% with mental health problems. So that would be one answer, we lock people up who have mental health problems, instead of offering them care and treatment. Just another brutal statistic from a brutal, uncaring, exploitative system.