U.S. leads world in prison population

Experts on crime and punishment say the United States has the harshest sentences and the most prisoners of any country in the world.

U.S. leads world in prison population
Records kept at King's College in London reveal that with 2.3 million people behind bars, the United States has almost a quarter of the world's prisoners even though it has less than 5 percent of the population, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

China, which has four times as many citizens, is a distant second to the United States with 1.6 million prisoners, the report said.

Michael H. Tonry, an author and leading authority on crime policy, says the difference in incarceration policies between the United States and Europe could be related to having an economy that is more capitalistic and a political culture that is less social democrat.

Tonry says prison sentences in the United States have become "vastly harsher than in any other country to which the United States would ordinarily be compared."

Agencies
Last Mod: 24 Nisan 2008, 11:47
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