America Has The Highest Rate Of Incarceration

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America has the highest rate of incarceration per capita of any other industrialized nation. That is an amazing fact. Don’t believe it? Then do some research. The World Prison Brief, a database hosted by the International Centre for Prison Studies, provides an online table* that list the world’s prison population broken down by nation. With a total population of over 320 million, the U.S. ranks at 698 prisoners per 100,000 people. That beats just about every nation in the world, including China and Russia combined.
One nation, however, beats the U.S.—the Republic of Seychelles, an archipelago of 115 Islands lying off the coast of East Africa in the Indian Ocean. Not known as an industrial powerhouse or technology giant, Seychelles still manages to rank at 799 prisoners per 100,000 citizens. That is quite an accomplishment for a nation lacking state-of-the-art technology, especially with a total population of less than 100,000.
By U.S. standards, that’s merely a small city, such as South Bend or Evansville (though both of those cities boast a larger population). But imagine a small city like South Bend having an arrest rate of that magnitude. That would require some serious effort by law enforcement and the criminal justice system. Busy, busy, busy!
It would also probably garner unflattering headlines and generate accusations of “over policing”. But wait a minute. The U.S. actually has a rate competitive with that of Seychelles. And though we are only
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