American Exceptionalism

According to this article in the New York Times, the US has nearly six times the number of prisoners (on a per-capita rate) as the worldwide average. We have 5% of the world’s population but 25% of its prisoners. Sometimes I’m ashamed to be American.


One response to “American Exceptionalism

  1. No, it’s nothing to be ashamed of. We’re tougher on crime in the US than much of the rest of the world.

    The primary cause of the higher incarceration numbers in the US is the fact that we sentence criminals to longer times of imprisonment than a lot of the world. Example: the average “time served” in Europe for Burglary is around 5 months, whereas it is 16 months in the US.

    We also have stiffer drug laws than much of the world. I will say that some of those drug laws and sentencing requirements are NOT well thought-out or – IMO – “just.”

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