The United States has the largest prison population in the world, with 2.2 million people in prison and 7 million in prison, on probation or on parole. China, which has about a billion more people than the U.S., has only 1.5 million prisoners.

Largest Minority:

According to the International Center for Prison Studies at King’s College in London, the United States has the largest prison population and highest rate of incarceration in the world. A US Justice Department report released late last month revealed that one in every 32 American adults was either in jail, on probation, or on parole.

America has a total of 2.2 million people in prison. There are 15 American states with smaller populations than that. Also ranking high on the list, but not close to the US, were China and Russia. Even though China has about 4.5 times as many people as the United States, it only has 1.5 million in prison. Russia came in third with 870,000.

Ethan Nadelmann of the Drug Policy Alliance, who supports alternatives in the “war on drugs” said, “The United States has 5 percent of the world’s population and 25 percent of the world’s incarcerated population. We rank first in the world in locking up our fellow citizens.”

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