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NYC Criminal Defense Attorney

U.S. is Home to 5% of World's Population but 25% of its Prisoners


U.S. is Home to 5% of World's Population but 25% of its Prisoners

According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, the US is home to a quarter of the world's prison population despite having only 5% of the world's population. They made the additional findings:

  • US incarceration is 370% higher than the U.K., 800% higher than Germany, 57% higher than Russia
  • 90% of prisoners are incarcerated because of violations of State law (such as drug offenses, assault, DWI, misdemeanors, felonies, etc)
  • The US prison population rose 425% between 1978 and 2009
  • $80 billion is spent every year to keep people in jail
  • The Wall Street Journal article can be found here

In New York, about 81,000 people are incarcerated for violations of State law. Despite massive incarceration, crime remains a constant problem. Too often, people accused of a crime miss critical opportunities to avoid a jail sentence. These opportunities include fighting the criminal case and exploring plea bargains that might avoid a long jail sentence. A recent study found that 82% of defendants used public defenders.

An article by mother jones found a correlation between inadequate representation and over-burdened public defenders.