Despite having less than 5 percent of the world's population, the United States tops the global list for incarcerations. Nearly one percent of people in the United States has been in or is currently in jail or prison.
Carlsbad, March 2, 2016 (Newswire.com) - According to population statistics in 2014, the United States was carrying close to 5 percent of the global population. Despite having such a lower population number, the United States was housing a quarter of the world's prison population. According to those it figures, it means approximately one out of 107 American adults is in the department of corrections. The comparisons to other nations in Europe and Asia are even more surprising. The rate of incarceration in the United States is almost five times higher than the United Kingdom, nearly seven times higher than France and a whopping 24 times high than the nation of India. The United States also has a higher incarceration rate than China, and it also has more people behind bars without having to factor rate. The United States currently has 2.3 million people behind bars. China has a population four times United States, and the Chinese prison population contains 1.6 million prisoners. China comes in second, but China is a distant second despite their massive population. The prison population across the United States has grown more than three times what it was in 1980.
The federal prison system is weighed down from the same incarceration rates. The federal prison system would carry around 24,000 inmates for nearly 40 years between 1940 and 1980. Since then the federal prison system has grown from around 24,000 inmates to well over 220,000.
According to Eric Holder, a previous U.S. Attorney General, “Too many Americans go to too many prisons for far too long, and for no truly good law-enforcement reason." This is a potential reason for the U.S. prison population to be so disproportionate to other countries.
“With the high incarceration rates in the U.S, many Americans already know someone who is incarcerated,” as stated by a Search Quarry spokesperson. And goes on to say, “It’s a matter of safety to many Americans that they know who has been incarcerated or is currently incarcerated.” Incarceration records are public records, via the Freedom of Information Act of 1966, which means they are publicly available to look up by anyone.