Essay The World Is A Tough And Scary Place

793 Words Dec 1st, 2016 4 Pages
The world is a tough and scary place.

This is the message we have always been told. Told by the stories from the media, from our parents, our friends, perhaps even through our own personal experiences. The media are constantly highlighting stories of rape, murder, robbery, etc. Our parents tell us "don 't talk to strangers." It seems as if anywhere, at any time, someone can and will take advantage of you if given the opportunity. Given the increase in riots, police shootings, and threats of terrorism, one would think that humanity is heading towards certain doom.

In light of this narrative, it might not be a surprise that the United States is tough on crime. In fact, the United States has nearly 25% of the world 's prison population, but less than 5% of the world 's total population. In other words, among a population of 319 million people, the United States has locked up over 2.3 million people in prison, with an additional 820,000 on parole and 3.8 million people on probation.

Wait; don 't those numbers seem too high?

These are alarming statistics. The United States has the highest incarceration rate among the developed world, and has the second highest incarceration rate in the world at a rate of 693 per 100,000 people, losing only to the Seychelles which has a rate of 799 per 100,000 people. The United States imprisons a higher percentage of their population than does Cuba, Russia, and China.

This suggests there is a crime epidemic occurring in the United States at…

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