Thursday, July 07, 2016

U.S. Has Highest Prison Incarceration Rate In The World

The United States just finished celebrating Independence Day -- the day when Americans revel in their "freedom". But that "freedom" is questionable. The chart above (made with information provided by the Prison Policy Initiative) shows that this "free" nation has more of its people in prison than any other nation in the entire world.

I just picked some of the world's nations to include in my chart, and if you want to see the entire list (with their rates of incarceration), you can go to The nation with the lowest incarceration rate is the Central African Republic (16 per 100,000). The nation with the highest incarceration rate is the United States (693 per 100,00). That's significantly higher than second-place Turkmenistan (583 per 100,00).

Why does the United States incarcerate so much more of its population than other countries? Are Americans a more lawless people than those living in other nations? Of course not. The United States has decided to try and solve its social problems by throwing people in prison. An example of this is the people sent to prison for the simple possession of small amounts of marijuana.

How can we call ourselves a free country when we incarcerate such a large percentage of our population? No other true democracy has anywhere close to the rate of the United States -- and sadly, even no nation generally regarded as a police state has a rate as high as the United States.

Land of the free?

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