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  • The United States of America incarcerates more people than any other country in the

  • world. In fact, the U.S. hosts more prison inmates than all other developed nations combined.

  • As of 2010 the world population was over 6.8 billion people, with an estimated 9.8 million

  • in jail. This figure, compiled by the International Center for Prison Studies, refers both to

  • individuals held in jail awaiting trial and inmates serving time after sentencing. So

  • there are 9.8 million human beings on planet earth living inside of cages . . . that we

  • know of.

  • In 2010 the U.S. was home to about 309 million people, 4.5 percent of the world's total

  • population, but housed 23 percent of the world's prisoners. So take a moment to think about

  • what this means. It means we imprison more people than enormous autocratic countries

  • like China. We imprison more people than Russia. Compared to the size of our population, our

  • rate of imprisonment dwarfs our closest allies, like the United Kingdom, France, and Canada.

  • As of 2010, there were over 1.6 million post-trial inmates serving sentences in America's state

  • and federal facilities. This number does not include those being detained pretrial or those

  • on probation.

  • The most unique feature of incarceration in America is the large and active role of our

  • federal government. In most countries crime is reacted to at the local or regional level,

  • whereas the American government finances and legislates a significant portion of law enforcement

  • at the national level. State governments still do their fair share of incarceration though.

  • California and Texas incarcerate more than other states, with over 171,000 inmates each.

  • Florida is a close third with over 103,000 prisoners. But no single state locks up more

  • people than the federal government, with over 208,000 inmates.

  • Perhaps the nickname land of the free, home of the brave should be updated. Though I suppose

  • you need to be brave to endure the highest likelihood of incarceration the world has

  • ever known. Prisons are not what we think about when we think of America, and they shouldn't

  • have to be. A free nation should not imprison so many people, and a fiscally responsible

  • nation can't afford to. With close to $40 billion a year in state correctional spending,

  • the financial costs are obvious and staggering alone. But the human costs are often underappreciated:

  • 1.6 million, fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters of American

  • families are incarcerated. It's time for people to realize that the criminal justice

  • system in America is desperately in need of reform.

The United States of America incarcerates more people than any other country in the

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US Prison Population: The Largest in the World

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    VoiceTube posted on 2016/09/29
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