U.S. Imprisonment Rate Per 100,000 Residents, 1978-2012
The US incarcerates more people per capita than any other nation in the world: Approximately 1 in 100 adults or more than 2.2 million people are behind bars in the US, according to the Pew Center on the States. In addition, another 4.6 million (or a total of almost 7 million) people live under some form of correctional supervision.
Mass incarceration is not a result of higher crime rates: The US has the highest incarceration rate in the world not because it has higher crime rates, but because it imprisons more types of criminal offenders, including non-violent and drug offenders, and keeps them in prison longer. With the exception of homicide, US crime rates are comparable to other European countries with much lower incarceration rates.
Mass incarceration disproportionately impacts US racial minorities: Mass incarceration has had a devastating effect on blacks and Hispanics in the US. African Americans are six times more likely to be incarcerated than a white person and non-white Latinos are almost three times more likely to be incarcerated, according to the Pew Center on the States.
Incarceration hits hardest at young black and Latino men without high school education. An astounding 11 percent of black men, aged between 20 and 34, are behind bars. Much of the racial disparity is a result of the US’ war on drugs - started by President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s. By 1988, blacks were arrested on drug charges at five times the rate of whites. By 1996, the rate of drug admissions to state prison for black men was 13 times greater than the rate for white men. This is despite the fact that African Americans use drugs at roughly the same rate as white Americans.
Mass incarceration is expensive: Imprisoning people is not cheap. The average cost of housing an inmate is approximately $20,000 to $30,000 per year. This price tag comes at the direct expense of public money that could be spent on public education, medical care and public assistance. And it is one reason why so many states face fiscal crises today.
Okay, not to dispute that this is wrong and the such, but since this is based on a number and not a percent, then doesn’t it make sense that as the population in the USA grows, so does the number of criminals thus the number in the jails?