Thursday, November 03, 2005

We are Number One

As the “freest” nation in the world and one that prides itself on being the best in everything, should we be proud about having more prisoners than China?

From the US Department of Justice:
The nation's total correctional population was 6,996,500 in 2004, of which 4,151,125 were living in the community on probation; 1,421,911 were in a state or federal prison; 765,355 were living in the community on parole; and 713,990 were in jail, according to the BJS report on probation and parole. At year-end one in every 31 adults were under correctional supervision, which was 3.2 percent of the U.S. adult population.
For reference, China, a nation that is at least 4 times as many people as the US, has a prison population of 1.5 million people. There is something seriously out of whack when a democracy has a higher incarceration rate than a dictatorship.

Hat Tip: Crooked Timber

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