Prison life is not something that one can recommend. Going to prison is a stigma, that may vety well haunt an inmate for life. Having said this I wonder how many people are aware as to which country has the largest numbers of prisoners. If I were to say United States, most people will stare in disbelief. This is however a fact and the USA with 2.3 million prisoners leads the world. No other country has so many of its citizens behind bars. These figures concern both state and federal prisons. Look at communist nations like China and it will surprise most people that it has 500,000 prisoners less than America. This is almost like a shock as China is a dictatorship with a population 4 times that of America, jet America has more prisoners. Are the Americans more voilent or more criminal minded than the Chinese? This is certainly a relevant question. Let alone China,theUSA has more prisoners than Russia , UK and France. If figures have a meaning, the USA has one in a hundred among adults in jail. The actual figures are 751 US citizens in jail per hundred thousand populations. The comparative figure for Japan is 63 and France 87. San Marino with a population of 30.000 has one manjailed. One of the reasons is the racial overtones in America. The second is the judicial system that is very rigid. Bill Clintons 3 strike law has made its own contribution to this surge in prison population. Ther have been cases of men being sent to jail for trivial crimes. One black got 3 twenty five year jail terms for stealing a car and 2 cycles. Another reason is the nexus between industry and the US jails. Capitalism has a role in this as over 36 states have allowed multinationals to make use of prison labor. These companies are happy as they get cheap labor and they get a labor force where they have no responsibilities. In addition absenteism is almost zero. Vested interests keep prisoners in jail longer than required. One judge who was a shareholder in a company contracted to use labor in his county , sent more and more prisoners to jail. Another facet of American jails is the fact that 60% of all prisoners are either black or Hispanic. This shows that the black man has very few opportunities for work and thus takes up crime. Another point is the stiff sentenses passed by US courts. The population in prisons has thus gone up and perhaps will keep going up, till the US Judicial system is over hauled.
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Janice is a writer from Chicago, IL. She created the "simple living as told by me" newsletter with more than 12,000 subscribers about Living Better and is a founder of Seekyt.
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