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Every 49 seconds, an American is busted for selling drugs.


Prison population statistics

As of 2006, it is estimated that at least nine million people are currently imprisoned worldwide.  However, it is believed that this number is likely to be much higher, in view of general under-reporting and a lack of data from various countries, especially authoritarian regimes. Since the beginning of the 1990s, the prison population in most countries has increased significantly.

In absolute terms, the United States currently has the largest prison population in the world, with more than 2 million. In 2002, both Russia and China (the latter with a population 4 times that of the USA) also had prison populations in excess of 1 million.

As a percentage of total population, Rwanda has the largest prison population as of 2002, with more than 100,000 (of a total population of around 8 million), largely as a result of the 1994 genocide. The United States is second largest in relative numbers with 486 prisoners per 100,000 of population, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, also making it the largest in relative numbers amongst developed countries). New Zealand has the second highest prison population per capita amongst developed countries, with 169 prisoners per 100,000.

In 2003, the United Kingdom had 73,000 inmates in its facilities, with France and Germany having a similar number.

Men (9.0%) are over 8 times more likely than women (1.1%) to be incarcerated in prison at least once during their life.
-U.S. Dept of Justice

The high proportion of prisoners in developed countries may be explained by a range of factors, including better funded criminal justice systems, a more strict approach to law and order (eg. through the use of mandatory sentencing), and a larger gap between the rich and the poor. In non-developed countries, rates of incarceration may be a reflection of a tendency for some crimes to go unpunished, political corruption, or the use of other mechanisms which provide an alternative to incarceration as a means of dealing with crime (eg. through the use of reconciliation).

Prison population per 100,000 inhabitants



Great Britain
and Northern Ireland


















According to the last statistics by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (October 2005, "Prisoners in 2004), the "rate of incarceration in prison at yearend 2004 was 486 sentenced inmates per 100,000 U.S. residents". However, if one adds the jail population to that number one comes up with the more realistic figure of 724 inmates per 100,000 residents.

"SHOCKING ISN'T IT". Why is the United States criminal justice system failing?

Criminal justice refers to the system used by government to maintain social control, enforce laws, and administer justice. Police, courts, and corrections are the primary agencies charged with these responsibilities. Criminal justice is distinct from the field of criminology, which involves the study of crime as a social phenomena, causes of crime, criminal behavior, and other aspects of crime.
The pursuit of criminal justice is, like all forms of "justice" or "fairness" or "process", essentially the pursuit of an ideal. Thus, this field has many relations to anthropology, criminology, economics, history, law, political science, psychology, sociology, theology, and ethics.

How can we truly have justice? 

Justice (French justice from Latin iustitia, from iustus "just") is a concept involving the fair, moral, and impartial treatment of all persons —. In its most general sense, it means according individuals what they actually deserve or merit, or are in some sense entitled to. Justice is a particularly foundational concept within most systems of "law," and draws highly upon established and well-regarded social traditions and values. From the perspective of pragmatism, it is the name for a fair result.
In most cases what one regards as "just" is determined by consulting established and agreeable principles, employing logic, or, in certain systems, by consulting a majority. In social contexts where religion dominates, justice may be thought to require deference to religious texts or to spiritual guidance. If a person lives under a certain set law in a country, concepts of "justice" are often simply deferential to the existing law —the issuing of punitive reprimands for violations may be referred to as "serving justice." In principle, this fits the general concept in that the individuals get what is supposedly due to them.
Classically, justice was the ability to recognize one's debts and pay them. It was a virtue that encompassed an unwillingness to lie or steal. It was the basis for the code duello. In this view, justice is the opposite of the vice of venality.
In jurisprudence, justice is the obligation that the legal system has toward the individual citizen and the society as a whole

If recent incarceration rates remain unchanged, an estimated 1 out of every 20 persons (5.1%) will serve time in a prison during their lifetime.
-U.S. Dept of Justice


Every year, more people are arrested than the entire combined
populations of our 13 least populous states.

America incarcerates five times as many people per capita
as Canada and 7 times as many as most European democracies.

America spends approximately 100 billion dollars a year on
the criminal justice system, up from 12 billion in 1972.

--Bureau of Justice statistics


In the early 70s, there were about 200,000 people locked up in the U.S. Today’s prison population of 1.8 million represents a growth of over 800% in the past 30 years.


In 2004, nearly 7 million people were on probation, in jail or prison, or on parole at yearend 2004 -- 3.2% of all U.S. adult residents or 1 in every 31 adults.


What if there is a better way?       







Researched and computation by: Max Stevens

Information in this article was obtained @

-U.S. Dept of Justice

Bureau of Justice statistics

U.S. Office of justice programs

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Photos found at PRISONZONE