Essay about America Has the Most Number of Prison in the World

Submitted By agarcia876
Words: 1669
Pages: 7

Term Paper America has 3 percent of the world’s population but over 25 percent of the world’s prisoners. The united states have more prisoners and inmates than any other country in the civilized world. The United States imprisons around 730 in every 100,000 people. There are currently around 2.2 million people behind bars, equal to a city the size of Houston. There are 4,575 prisons running in the United States, more than four times the number of Russia which is currently in second place with 1,029 running prisons. The United States has thirteen times as many as Japan, eight times as many as Germany, six times as many as Canada or China, and four times as many prisoners as Israel. America has the highest rate in the world for prisons and prisoners, even though there are other countries with much larger populations, for example China. One of the reasons as to why America has such a high prisons and prisoners’ rate, is because we send more people to prison, for a large variety of different offences, for much longer periods of time than anybody else in the world. America focuses on incarcerating people who commit crimes because of mandatory sentencing laws even for non-violent crimes while other countries often stress treatment instead of incarceration. For example, drug offenders account for about 2 million of the 7 million in prison, on probation or parole. Instead of incarcerating drug offenders we should be trying to help them with treatment programs, rather than sending them to prison, since prison doesn’t solve their problem. Even with drug offenders in jail they will still return to drug use when they are released from prison. If we focused on treatment programs for drug offenders rather than having them sit in jail, there is a higher chance they won’t continue to use drugs, therefore solving the problem and ensuring they will not be back in jail for a drug related crime, in turn reducing a portion of prisoners. Another example of people being incarcerated for minor crimes would be George Norris's. Mr. Norris was 65 years old, and a collector of orchids. He was told that he was being charged for smuggling orchids into America, an offence under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. Mr. Norris did have an extremely small orchid selling business, but he only sold to other orchid collectors. His suppliers were in South America, and unfortunately the suppliers were not always precise with the paperwork. If in a shipment there were many orchids that resembled each other, it was rare for the paper work to match the correct orchid precisely. In March 2004, Mr. Norris was indicted, handcuffed and thrown into a cell with a suspected murderer and two suspected drug-dealers. Prosecutors accused Mr. Norris of being the leader in a smuggling ring. He was shocked: his annual profits from his small orchid business never accumulated about $20,000. He pleaded innocent. Since an undercover federal agent purchased some orchids from Mr. Norris that didn’t have the precious paperwork, he was charged with making a false statement to a government official, which is a federal crime which can earn you a five year prison sentence. Since he had communicated with his suppliers, he was charged with conspiracy, which could also possibly earn you a five year prison sentence. As he could no longer afford his legal bills, Mr. Norris reluctantly changed his plea to guilty, though he still protests that he is innocent. Mr. was sentenced to seventeen months in prison. After some time, he was released while his appeal was heard, but then he was sent back to prison. His health suffered while in prison: he has Parkinson's disease, which was made worse from the stressful environment of prison life. For bringing his needed prescription sleeping pills into prison, he was put in solitary confinement for 71 days. The prison was so crowded; however, that even in solitary confinement he had two room-mates. America also…