From Corrections Community comes this fact sheet from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency comparing U.S. incarceration rates with other countries:  

  • The US incarcerates the largest number of people in the world.
  • The incarceration rate in the US is four times the world average.
  • Some individual US states imprison up to six times as many people as do nations of comparable population.
  • The US imprisons the most women in the world.
  • Crime rates do not account for incarceration rates.
  • The US has less than 5% of the world’s population but over 23% of the world’s incarcerated people.

Read the whole paper.  It’s truly frightening.  Either folks in the U.S. are just more deserving of prison, or…I don’t know, are there any other possibilities?

(Hat Tip: Doug Berman)

  • A friend’s son had a school assignment to write a letter to his representative and Senators, and he was looking for a question to ask. I suggested this:

    “The United States imprisons a larger portion of its population than any other country. Is that because the people of the United States are a pack of criminals? Or is that because the government of the United States is a cruel tyranny?”

    He didn’t use it.

  • Any idea what he did ask? Anything that gets these questions rumbling around in young folks’ brains is good. I fear we will be well into our next generation before we truly reverse these trends.

    Saddest of all, I think it will be the economic arguments (over-punishment costs the taxpayer money) that eventually helps push us back to sanity, not the moral arguments (imprisoning drug addicts for decades is morally wrong).

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  • Sherry

    I have plans to write a tell all regarding the Midland County Probation department. I was sexually harrased on more than one occasion by the now “head of Probation.” I even filed charges! I know for a fact that I am not the only one and I am forty! Imagine what’s being done to young scared girls that the system has just got their hands on! Good Ole Boys? I think not.