Friday, September 16, 2011

Locked up in the Land of the Free

The United States has less than 5 percent of the world's population, but _________.  

I’m sure this coordinating conjunction can be completed using any number of (in)dependent clauses depending on your political persuasion.  However, cast your political bias aside for a moment and consider this one:

But has a quarter of the world’s prisoners. 
Here are some startling facts.  There are roughly 2.3 million people in American prisons; there are about 1.6 million prisoners in communist China.  Within the US adult population, 1 in 100 is locked up. 

Per 100,000 people, there are:
·         751 prisoners in the U.S.
·         627 prisoners in Russia
·         151 prisoners in England
·         88 prisoners in Germany
·         63 prisoners in Japan

No matter your political bent, this should concern just about everyone.  This is the result of the State gone wild banning this and mandating that.  Criminal statutes lurk in just about every activity Americans undertake.  Do the wrong thing, and chances are you’ll end up in jail.  In some cases, you won’t even know you’ve skirted the law.

Scary for a country that espouses to be land of the free. 

See here for the 2008 article.

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