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 Kingdom’s incarceration rate is 152 per 100,000 residents; the rate in Canada is 108; and in France it is 91.

“The new incarceration figures confirm the United States as the world’s leading jailer,” said David Fathi, US program director at Human Rights Watch. “Americans should ask why the US locks up so many more people than do Canada, Britain, and other democracies.”

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.

“The ‘war on drugs’ has become a war on black Americans.”

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?