skip navigation

Justinfo Subscribe to Stay Informed

Add your conference to our Justice Events calendar


NCJRS Abstract


Subscribe to Stay Informed
Want to be in the know? JUSTINFO is a biweekly e-newsletter containing information about new publications, events, training, funding opportunities, and Web-based resources available from the NCJRS Federal sponsors. Sign up to get JUSTINFO in your inbox.

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Library collection.
To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the NCJRS Abstracts Database.

How to Obtain Documents
NCJ Number: NCJ 129454     Find in a Library
Title: Americans Behind Bars: A Comparison of International Rates of Incarceration
  Document URL: PDF 
Author(s): M Mauer
Corporate Author: Sentencing Project
United States of America
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 20
  Annotation: An updated analysis of international rates of incarceration examines in detail the number of incarcerated adults in the United States, South Africa, and the Soviet Union, those awaiting trial, and sentenced offenders. This figure is then divided by each country's population to obtain an overall incarceration rate.
Abstract: The United States has an incarceration rate of 426 per 100,000 population, the world's highest known rate; South Africa has a rate of 333 per 100,000 population; and the Soviet Union a rate of 168 per 100,000 population. In the United States, black males are incarcerated at a rate four times that of black males in South Africa: 3,109 per 100,000 compared to 729 per 100,000. It costs $16 billion a year to incarcerate the more than one million inmates in American jails and prisons. No other nation for which incarceration rates are known approaches these levels. Rates of incarceration generally fall in the range of 35-120 per 100,000 in Western Europe and in the range of 21-140 for most Asian countries. It is necessary to determine the relative influence of crime rates and criminal justice policies on the high rate of incarceration in the United States and to respond to the problem with constructive programs and policies. 21 references and 3 tables
Main Term(s): Inmate statistics ; Incarceration and Imprisonment
Index Term(s): Minorities ; US/foreign comparisons ; Union of Soviet Socialist Republics ; South Africa
Type: Survey
Country: United States of America
Language: English
  To cite this abstract, use the following link:

* A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's web site is provided.