Monday, April 25, 2005

World's largest prison system

It turns out the land of the free isn't so free after all, or so says Reuters:
The U.S. penal system, the world's largest, maintained its steady growth in 2004, the Department of Justice reported on Sunday.

The latest official half-yearly figures found the nation's prison and jail population at 2,131,180 in the middle of last year, an increase of 2.3 percent over 2003.

The United States has incarcerated 726 people per 100,000 of its population, seven to 10 times as many as most other democracies. The rate for England is 142 per 100,000, for France 91 and for Japan 58.

According to the Justice Department, violent crime in the United States fell by over 33 percent from 1994 to 2003 and property crimes fell by 23 percent.
So, locking up the bad guys is getting results.

In working out that the US has the world's largest prison population I wonder if those doing the calculations considered the prisoners in Cuba? You know, 11 million Cubans.

Update: Accurate figures for the North Korean prison population aren't available. It is known, however, that North Korea has an innovative means of keeping the prison population down: some 20 - 25% of prisoners die each year. Mostly they're not executed or anything nasty like that, they're worked to death, starved, used for weapons' testing or die of exposure, in the name of the people. That's why lefties show no concern.


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