The most common response I see when I cite the incarceration figures to someone is disbelieve. They suppose that maybe that is compared to third world nations where crime is not prosecuted. Or that it is compared to authoritarian states where crime is punished so severely that no one risks jail. --- But this is not the case. The United States of America jails a larger percentage of its citizen than every other nation in the world, even harsh authoritarian nations.
Compared to Industrialized Western nations We jail not a marginally larger percentage, not even a huge percentage difference like 50% or 80%, but we incarcerate 700% more of our population than do the other Western Industrialized nations. Dare we still call ourselves Industrialized?
Only North Korea exceeds the US incarceration rate. But it only exceeds our rate when their 200,000 political prisoners are added to their general prison population figures. Exclude political prisoners and we incarcerate more than even North Korean Dictatorship. According to NBC News agency N. Korea detains nearly one percent of their population for political reasons.
The fact that the only nation which exceeds our incarceration rate does so only when counting political prisoners is a fact that has a chilling effect on me.
Especially when one notes that the margin by which N. Korea beats are incarceration rate is by about 30% higher than we but we beat the industrialized worlds incarceration rate by 700%.
This is only one graph from one source. I do not like offering links for research. Information a reader gathers him or her self is much more credible for that person. Just Google search the term "world incarceration rates" And get all the information yourself. You may be surprised.
Dear Law Enforcement Personnel,
Your chosen profession in law enforcement might provide you a unique and better qualified perspective from which to answer the following single question.
As you are likely aware the United States incarcerates five to ten times the percentage of it's citizens as do other Western Industrialized Nations. Only the former Soviet Union approached our rate of incarceration. However, we are still number one. At no point in the history of incarceration as a popular means of punishment did the United States ever lose its number one ranking. Not even the former Soviet Union, at the height of its regime beat the States. Should we be proud of that?
The only cases where the incarceration rates were higher than the current United State's rates are in the case of Nazi Germany with 793 per 100,000 toward the end of W.W.II. This figure includes the occupants of the concentration camps. The other is North Korea. While they do not directly report their figures, NBC news puts the figure at about 900 per 100,000. However, NBC notes that over ninety percent of those prisoners are political prisoners.
I must admit. Those facts are just a little scary.
These would appear the most likely possibilities and two are not very likely.
1) The hearts and souls of American citizens are five to ten times blacker and darker, more evil than all the rest of humanity through out rest of the world.
2) Law enforcement in all the other countries are incompetent. US law enforcement is the only enforcement entity which has any training or enforcement proficiency.
3) US law enforcement employs a constructive or developed regiment which is suggestive of systemically and mildly vindictive enforcement practices. Whereby, US law enforcement finds protection of the innocent less important than the punishment of the guilty.
Question: Which of these likely hoods, do you find most probable?
Two of these answers are unlikely and one is distasteful. However, the discrepancy is real. And the reason for the discrepancy is real. These three reasons remain the most likely. Can you think of another alternative answer?
Which do you think it is?
Email me. email@example.com Your response will be published on this web site in it entirety. Please include your name and credentials.