According to the Social Research Journal for the Social Sciences entitled “Punishment: The U.S. Record,” the prison population in the United States has increased 650% since the 1970’s even though the crime rate has decreased (Mack 1). As of June 30, 2007 American prisons and jails were holding 2,299,116 inmates. In 2006 over 7.2 million adults in the U.S. were on probation, parole, or incarcerated in jail or prison. Some sources stated that at the beginning of 2008 for every 100 adults in the United States, 1 was incarcerated. Though the actual facts seem to vary a little bit between sources, it is shown that of those imprisoned, roughly 50% have committed violent offenses. That leaves around 1 million people imprisoned in this country for committing nonviolent crimes (“ Drug War Prisoner Count”). In comparison to the rest of the world the United States has the highest documented incarceration rate. While the U.S. has roughly 5% of the world’s population, it has almost 24% of the world’s prison population (“Incarceration in the United States” 1,5,6).
Is incarcerating so many people who have... [continues]
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