There Are Now More Americans In Jail Than There Were In Stalin's Gulag Archipelago
There are now more Americans in jail -- 6 million -- than there were in Stalin's Gulag, reports Fareed Zakaria, in a column called "Incarceration Nation."
And it's not just a relative population thing.
The U.S. has 760 prisoners per 100,000 citizens.
How does that compare to other countries?
It's 7X-10X as high:
- Japan has 63 per 100,000,
- Germany has 90 per 100,000
- France has 96 per 100,000
- South Korea has 97 per 100,000
- Britain has 153 per 100,000
And it's also a relatively new phenomenon: In 1980, the U.S. only had 150 prisoners per 100,000 citizens.
What's to blame?
The "War on Drugs."
More than half of America's 6 million prisoners are in jail for drug convictions, with 80% of those in jail for "possession."
By the way, has the "war on drugs" worked?
There are still drugs everywhere.
So, maybe it's time we stopped throwing people in the slammer for possessing them.