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The United States has just 5 percent of the world's population and over 20 percent (closer to 25%) of its prisoners. Since 1980 alone, America's prison population has quadrupled. This is terrifying news to me. Here are some numbers for ya, the top countries and their incarcerated citizens' tallies:
Notable countries' incarceration rates (per 100,000 people)
#1 Overall (of every country on the planet) The United States - 730
Here is a hand-selected list of countries that I felt were comparable to US (even if just barely), for examples:
New Zealand 194
United Kingdom 154
The only country that's even close is Russia. The UK, China, Japan, Canada... all these counties are at least jailing 4 1/2 people less (per capita) than you U.S. The U.S. locks up more than 13x the amount of citizens per 100,000 than Japan! What?!?
But, its not just per capita. There are roughly 2.2 million U.S. citizens incarcerated at this very moment. (That's almost 1% of our ENTIRE population.) The next closest country to that number is Russia at roughly 1.5 million. Then, the numbers drop dramatically. And that 2.2 million number is ever increasing. To add to this staggering statistic the fact that private prisons are popping up in our country, and its clear that there is something seriously wrong with our entire penal system. The fact that our society allows profit to be made off of locking someone up in a cage is downright wrong and should be made illegal!
In light of these statistics that have been obvious and staggering for 2 decades now, many have been referring to our prison system as "the prison industrial-complex", comparing it to our ridiculous "military industrial-complex" issue. I see many similarities myself. The U.S. locks up the most people in the world, both by total and per capita, by far. And, it spends the most on its military, by far. Both systems need to be overhauled.
What are your thoughts? Have anything to add to this? Hope so, cause this is pissing me off right now. And, I would enjoy some back and forth on this. Thanks for letting me rant.