virus: Fwd: PRISON STATS

James Veverka (
Mon, 7 Jun 1999 18:54:01 -0400 (EDT)

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A pinch and a snip out of an article in AAnews

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From: (James Veverka) Date: Mon, 7 Jun 1999 18:49:54 -0400 (EDT) To:
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Actual atheist percentage in the United States for the year 1996 are around 22%. (George Gallup Jr., in fact, got caught fiddling the numbers to try to make the decline appear to have stopped. CODESH and various other secular publications covered the Gallup attempt to deceive the people.)

Dear Mr. Swift:
The Federal Bureau of Prisons does have statistics on religious affiliations of inmates. The following are total number of inmates per religion category:

Adventist                    621 
American Indian             2408 
Atheist                      156 
Bahai                          9 
Buddhist                     882 
Catholic                   29267 
Church of Christ            1303 
Hindu                        119 
Jehovah Witness              665 
Jewish                      1325 
Krishna                        7 
Moorish                     1066 
Mormon                       298 
Muslim                      5435 
Nation                      1734 
No Preference              13878 
Orthodox                     375 
Pentecostal                 1093 
Protestant                 26162 
Rasta                       1485 
Santeria                     117 
Scientology                  190 
Sikh                          14 
Unknown                     4503 
Total                     96,968 

I hope that this information is helpful to you. Sincerely,
Denise Golumbaski
Research Analyst
Federal Bureau of Prisons

It's surprising how many people remark to me, "You're an Atheist? You must have no conscience about committing crime then." Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, if we examine the population of our prisons, we see a very different picture. In "The New Criminology," Max D. Schlapp and Edward E. Smith say that two generations of statisticians found that the ratio of convicts without religious training is about 1/10th of 1%. W.T. Root, Professor of Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh, examined 1,916 prisoners and said, "Indifference to religion, due to thought, strengthens character," adding that Unitarians, Agnostics, Atheists and Free-Thinkers were absent from penitentiaries, or nearly so. During 10 years in Sing-Sing, of those executed for murder 65% were Catholics, 26% Protestants, 6% Hebrew, 2% Pagan, and less than 1/3 of 1% non-religious.
Steiner and Swancara surveyed Canadian prisons and found 1,294 Catholics, 435 Anglicans, 241 Methodists, 135 Baptists, and 1 Unitarian. Dr. Christian, Superintendent of the N.Y. State Reformatories,checked records of 22,000 prison inmates and found only 4 college graduates. In "Who's Who," 91% were college graduates; Christian commented that "intelligence and knowledge produce right living," and, "crime is the offspring of superstition and ignorance." Surveyed Massachusetts reformatories found every inmate to be religious. In Joliet Prison, there were 2,888 Catholics, 1,020 Baptists, 617 Methodists and no prisoners identified as non-religious. Michigan had 82,000 Baptists and 83,000 Jews in the state population; but in the prisons, there were 22 times as many Baptists as Jews, and 18 times as many Methodists as Jews. In Sing-Sing, there were 1,553 inmates, 855 of them (over half) Catholics, 518 Protestants, 117 Jews, and 8 non-religious.
Steiner first surveyed 27 states and found 19,400 Christians, 5,000 with no preference and only 3 Agnostics (one each in Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Illinois). A later, more exhaustive survey found 60,605 Christians, 5,000 Jews, 131 Pagans, 4,000 "no preference," and only 3 Agnostics.
In one 19-state survey, Steiner found 15 non-believers, Spiritualists, Theosophists, Deists, Pantheists and 1 Agnostic among nearly 83,000 inmates. He labeled all 15 as "anti-christians." The Elmira, N.Y. reformatory system overshadowed all others, with nearly 31,000 inmates, including 15,694 Catholics (half) and 10,968 Protestants, 4,000 Jews, 325 refusing to answer, and 0 unbelievers. In the East, over 64% of inmates are Roman Catholic. Throughout the national prison population, they average 50%. A national census of the general population found Catholics to be about 15% (and they count from the diaper up). Hardly 12% are old enough to commit a crime, and half of these are women. That leaves an adult Catholic population of 6% supplying 50% of the prison population.