The Pew Center on the States has just issued a major study on the American penal system. For a good summary, see the Reuters article by James Vicini.
The United States incarcerates more people than any other country in the world and for the first time in the nation's history, more than one in every 100 American adults is confined in a prison or jail, according to a report released on Thursday.Not a world record to be proud of.
The report by the Pew Center on the States said the American penal system held more than 2.3 million adults at the start of the year.
The far more populous nation of China ranked second with 1.5 million behind bars, with Russia a distant third with 890,000 inmates.
"Beyond the sheer number of inmates, America also is the global leader in the rate at which it incarcerates its citizenry, outpacing nations like South Africa and Iran," according to the report.