So much for being “The Land Of The Free”: Human Rights Watch has just posted up the latest stats which show the USA incarcerates nearly 7 times the number of it’s citizens are other democracies such as the UK and Canada.
Statistics released today by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, a branch of the US Department of Justice, show that as of June 30, 2007, approximately 2.3 million persons were incarcerated in US prisons and jails, an all-time high. This represents an incarceration rate of 762 per 100,000 US residents, the highest such rate in the world. By contrast, the United Kingdomâ€™s incarceration rate is 152 per 100,000 residents; the rate in Canada is 108; and in France it is 91.
â€œThe new incarceration figures confirm the United States as the worldâ€™s leading jailer,â€ said David Fathi, US program director at Human Rights Watch. â€œAmericans should ask why the US locks up so many more people than do Canada, Britain, and other democracies.â€
He goes on to say even though the majority of drug users in America are white, the majority of people imprisoned on drug charges are black.
â€œThe â€˜war on drugsâ€™ has become a war on black Americans.â€
So let’s see:
- America jails more of it’s people than any other country in the world (including Cuba, Iraq, Russia and China)
- America has more gun deaths per capita (by a huge margin) than any other country in the world.
- America has more nuclear weapons than any other country in the world.
- America has financed more terrorism and supported more dictators than any other country in the world in the last century.
The question in my mind is: Is America the most violent country in the world? And why, when they have it so good?