Monday, June 4, 2007

Not the Hilton Hotel

Paris Hilton went to jail late last night. What are the stats on prisoners, women, and just how unusual is Paris? Here are the numbers...

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2.2 million prisoners were held in Federal or State prisons and local jails, so 1 in every 136 Americans is in jail. Women make up only 7% of the inmates. African Americans account for 3%. Here’s the telling stat: the average American has a 1 in 15 chance – 6.8% - of serving time in prison during his or her lifetime. It’s 1.8% for women.

At age 26 Paris Hilton is in the prime jail age. Of those between the ages of 25 and 29 8.1% of black males, 2.6% of Hispanic males, and 1.1% of white males were in State or Federal prison.

Paris Hilton’s stay at the all-female Century Regional Detention Facility is expected to be 23 days. While her placement in a special needs section of the facility may be deemed special treatment, her time served percentage based on good behavior will be normal according to both Federal and State statistics.

Sometimes good behavior will simply not make a difference. The average time served before execution is 121 months, with no time off.

So is Paris unusual? The numbers say that just being a woman in jail makes it so. But I’m not sure she needed that distinction.

According to its most recent quarterly filing with the SEC, the Hilton Hotels Corporation expects to spend $330 million this year for hotel renovation, hotel investment and special projects. Hmmm. Special projects. Could that maybe include a certain jail cell 20 minutes south of LA?

No comments: