Prison Law Blog

I don’t think it can be hammered home enough how anomalous America’s incarceration rate has become in the world, and in history. Russia is the only other “superpower” that incarcerates its citizens at a rate comparable to ours. There is no Western European country, no Asian power, no large Latin American country in the Top Ten — on this metric, at least, America truly is exceptional. The chart also reflects the end result of fairly recent developments; the U.S. did not historically have an unusually high incarceration rate. (For that chart, click here or see this Christian Science Monitor piece).

However, I also think it’s important to keep in mind that incarceration rates vary quite a bit by state. The states with the highest incarceration rates overall are in the Deep South, while states in the Midwest and Northeast have lower incarceration rates overall but tend to have more…

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~ by christinambrooks on April 22, 2012.

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