With 2.3 million people behind bars, America leads the world in incarceration. The U.S. prison population has more than doubled in the past 15 years.
Despite the fact that African Americans and Latino Americans are less than 30% of the country, they comprise more than 60% of its inmates.
The New York Times reports:
Proportionally, the United States has four times as many prisoners as Israel, six times as many as Canada or China, eight times as many as Germany and 13 times as many as Japan.
With just a little more than 4 percent of the world’s population, the United States accounts for a quarter of the planet’s prisoners and has more inmates than the leading 35 European countries combined. Almost all the other nations with high per capita prison rates are in the developing world.
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