Given its history Panderbear was not surprised to learn that Russia has a very high incarceration rate. What was surprising, as the Wikipedia graphic points out, is that the United States of America, 'Land of the Free,' is the world's leading jailer.
We have a higher percentage of our population behind bars than any other country and not by just a little. At 760 prisoners per 100,000 population (2008) the U.S. bests the average European incarceration rate by an insane factor of 7, is more than 6 times China's rate, and is 12 times Japan's.
Why is the U.S. in the company of countries like Russia, Rwanda, and Cuba instead of modern western nations? All nations have their share of politicians pandering to the "tough on crime" constituency. But, if the rest of the developed world can maintain secure and stable societies without locking up millions of people, why can't America?
|Incarceration Rates by Country|