Report: Thanks to harsh drug policies, U.S. leads world in prison population
A new report released by the London School of Economics names the United States of America the prison capital of the world.
By a wide margin, the U.S. imprisons more of its citizens than any other country in the world, with many offenders doing time for drug-related offenses.
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle earlier this year said that the prison population locally, and the country as a whole, is out of control. “We have five percent of the world’s population, 314 million people, but 25 percent of the people in the entire world who are in jail or prison,” said Preckwinkle.
Preckwinkle attributed the high percentage to incarceration of black and brown people at astronomical rates. And many of those inmates are drug offenders–and are often repeat criminals.
“86 percent of the people in my jail are black and brown,” Preckwinkle said this past January.
She said it’s costing the county moral capital as well as millions of dollars. She has pledged to push for more pre-trial release and jail diversion programs for non-violent offenders.
The report, “Ending The Drug Wars,” finds that drug offenses account for roughly 40 percent of all individuals incarcerated globally.
Any many offenders don’t get proper treatment for drug use and are likely to return to society, repeating the same behavior.
60 percent of the nation’s 83 percent in prison have used drugs, according to the report.
What does the report’s findings say about the country’s war on drugs?
Should the laws be changed?
Sound off below!