There is no proper protection of prisoners' basic rights. Information released in August 2008 by the U.S. Department of Justice showed that the rate of conviction by U.S. courts has been on a rise since 1993. Convicts who committed violent crimes accounted for more than 50 percent of the total. California had 172,000 inmates in its 33 prisons, which were designed for just over half that number, leaving each inmate a space of only 6 square foot (Prison overcrowding blamed for health woes, http:// www., November 19, 2008). In Prince George of Maryland, the Upper Marlboro jail held an estimated 1,500 prisoners while it was designed for about 1,330 (The Washington Post, July 25, 2008). There were frequent reports inmates dying from prison officers' violence. An Amnesty International report in 2008 said Taser was widely used to control inmates in the U.S. prisons and detention centers. It had tracked more than 300 cases since 2001 in which people died after being shocked by a Taser. Among them, 69 died in 2008. According to a report by the Washington Post on July 25, more than 10 jail officers in Prince George of Maryland have arrest records. At least six officers were suspended in the past seven months and nine others still worked in the prison though they were accused of crimes or violence. Baron Pikes, arrested on a cocaine charge, died in January 2008 after a police officer had shocked him nine times with a Taser (The CNN website, on July 22, 2008). Ronnie L. White, 19, died of strangulation on June 29, 2008,when he was held in solitary confinement at a correction center in Prince George County, Maryland (The Washington Post, September 23,2008). According to the latest statistics released by the U.S. Department of Justice in June 2008, 1,154 inmates in the federal and state prisons died of AIDS between 2001 and 2006 (Ming Pao Daily, July 3, 2008). Some U.S. jails have become the " new asylums" for drug addicts and mental patients, with 6 out of 10 people in jail living with a mental illness (Jails bulging with people with mental illnesses, the homeless and people detained for immigration offenses; costing counties billions, http:// The Economist reported on May 10, 2008 that the U.S. was one of the few countries where the felons were deprived of rights. Some U.S. states even forbid felons to vote.

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