Naughty Americans

5 05 2009

It seems that the land of the free is not as free as you might think.  According to this article in the Economist America locks up 756 people per 100,000.  Compare this to Iran at 222, Britain at 151 and Japan at a very well behaved 63 per 100,000 and it makes you wonder.  Are Americans more badly behaved than residents of other nations?  Are people locked up for more minor offences?  Is this due to the high gun ownership level meaning offenses are more serious and require longer jail terms?  I would be interested to know the story behind some of these figures.

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2 responses

5 05 2009
eatanicecream

Countries with high levels of inequality have higher crime rates and generally lock up more people per 1,000 people. There is a strong correlation. Japan has one of the lowest levels of inequality in the world and very low crime rate.

Note also that the actual crime rate doesn’t have to have anything to do with the amount of people locked up.

Reading this at the moment, very interesting: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Spirit-Level-Societies-Almost-Always/dp/1846140390/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1241563246&sr=8-1

6 05 2009
sandyman1

Makes sense, i mean the next on the list is South Africa and Russia which are two obviously unequal societies. From what i hear from American friends here there is a number of things which i just can’t believe happen there which would not stand in Europe. Medical care is the first one that springs to mind where only the priveledged are able to get proper care.

Clearly in dictarships and the like the crime rate indeed doesn’t nessecarily match the number of people in jail, but one would hope (!) that in the supposedly “free” America this would not be the case! But that is another discussion entirely!

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