The current US incarceration rate is only slightly lower than the record-high Soviet Union’s levels before World War II when the USSR’s population reached 168 million, and 1.2 to 1.5 million people were in the Gulag system’s prison camps and colonies (i.e. about 800 people imprisoned per 100,000 residents, according to numbers from Anne Applebaum and Steven Rosefielde).
Critics have lambasted the United States for incarcerating a large number of non-violent and victimless offenders; half of all persons incarcerated under state jurisdiction are for non-violent offenses, and 20% are incarcerated for drug offenses (in state prisons, federal prison percentages are higher). -Wikipedia
Jul 04 2012