America – “The Land Of The Jailed”

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?

Tagged

2 thoughts on “America – “The Land Of The Jailed”

  1. Charlie says:

    “America has more gun deaths per capita (by a huge margin) than any other country in the world.”
    Where does that fact come from?

  2. Cameron says:

    Charlie, it’s from a 1997 report by the Center for Disease Control. I’ll quote the key paragraphs and the URL for it below, but here’s the main part:
    The firearm-related homicide rate in the United States was nearly 16 times higher than that in all of the other countries combined (0.94 compared with 0.06); the firearm-related suicide rate was nearly 11 times higher (0.32 compared with 0.03).

    ========

    A firearm was reported to have been involved in the deaths of 1107 children; 957 (86%) of those occurred in the United States. Of all firearm-related deaths, 55% were reported as homicides; 20%, as suicides; 22%, as unintentional; and 3%, as intention undetermined. The overall firearm-related death rate among U.S. children aged less than 15 years was nearly 12 times higher than among children in the other 25 countries combined (1.66 compared with 0.14) (Table_1). The firearm-related homicide rate in the United States was nearly 16 times higher than that in all of the other countries combined (0.94 compared with 0.06); the firearm-related suicide rate was nearly 11 times higher (0.32 compared with 0.03); and the unintentional firearm-related death rate was nine times higher (0.36 compared with 0.04). For all countries, males accounted for most of the firearm-related homicides (67%), firearm-related suicides (77%), and unintentional firearm-related deaths (89%). The nonfirearm-related homicide rate in the United States was nearly four times the rate in all of the other countries (1.63 compared with 0.45), and nonfirearm-related suicide rates were similar in the United States and in all of the other countries combined (0.23 compared with 0.24).

    The rate for firearm-related deaths among children in the United States (1.66) was 2.7-fold greater than that in the country with the next highest rate (Finland, 0.62) (Figure_1). Except for rates for firearm-related suicide in Northern Ireland and firearm-related fatalities of unknown intent in Austria, Belgium, and Israel, rates for all types of firearm-related deaths were higher in the United States than in the other countries. However, among all other countries, the impact of firearm-related deaths varied substantially. For example, five countries, including three of the four countries in Asia, reported no firearm-related deaths among children. In comparison, firearms were the primary cause of homicide in Finland, Israel, Australia, Italy, Germany, and England and Wales. Five countries (Denmark, Ireland, New Zealand, Scotland, and Taiwan) reported only unintentional firearm-related deaths.

    (http://www.cdc.gov/mmwR/preview/mmwrhtml/00046149.htm)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>