69 members of the United States Senate believe so, authorizing $6.6 billion dollars for the Bureau of Prisons.
According to WMUR:
New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen said it prioritizes funding for two other vacant prisons besides Berlin. The bill now heads to the House of Representatives. The 1,280-bed, medium-security federal prison was completed last year but has yet to open because of a lack of operating funds from Congress.
The 2009 federal prison population consisted of: Drugs 50.7%, Public-order 35.0%, Violent 7.9%, Property 5.8%, Other .7%
Drug offenses are self-explanatory, but the public-order offenses also fall under the victimless crimes category. Public order offenses include such things as immigration, weapons charges, public drunkenness, selling lemonade without a license, etc..
The United States has the highest prison population rate in the world, 756 per 100,000 of the national population. The world population in 2008 is estimated at 6,750 million (United Nations); set against a world prison population of 9.8 million this produces a world prison population rate of 145 per 100,000 (158 per 100,000 if set against a world prison population of 10.65 million).
In 2008, according to the Department of Justice, there were 7,308,200 persons in the US corrections system, of whom 4,270,917 were on probation, 828,169 were on parole, 785,556 were in jails, and 1,518,559 were in state and federal prisons.
In other words, 1 in 42 Americans is under correctional supervision. This constitutes over 2% of the entire US population. That percentage jumps up drastically if we limit the comparison to working aged adult males, of which there are around 100 million. Over 5% of the adult male population is under some form of correctional supervision, alternatively stated, 1 in 20 adult males is under correctional supervision in the US. One in 36 adult Hispanic men is behind bars, based on Justice Department figures for 2006. One in 15 adult black men is, too, as is one in nine black men ages 20 to 34.
Keep in mind that 86% of those men in federal prisons are there for victimless crimes. They have not stolen any property, damaged any property, or harmed anyone directly by their actions. Of course, if you are reading this and live in the US, you are paying for all those people to subsist on a daily basis. Roughly 34% of all prisoners in the US are incarcerated for victimless crimes.
In California in 2009 it cost an average of $47,102 a year to incarcerate an inmate in state prison. In 2005 it cost an average of $23,876 dollars per state prisoner nationally.