MINNEAPOLIS — It’s the land of the not so free and the home of the heavily armed.
The week has been filled with stories from all sides of America’s growing police state. New studies show we’re not just at the top of the world’s incarceration list but we’re running away with the title, while police misconduct and the militarization of those same police forces are raising questions from coast to coast.
Here’s five reasons the United States is the world’s biggest police state:
1. If the states were individual countries, the U.S. would have the 35th-highest incarceration rate in the world
It is common knowledge — or at least it should be — that the United States jails a larger part of its population than any other country on the planet, with the possible exception of North Korea; it’s hard to get reliable statistics from there.
The United States has about 5 percent of the world’s total population but about 25 percent of the world’s prisoners. About 700 out of every 100,000 people in the United States are serving time behind bars, according to the International Centre for Prison Studies. The regimes in Russia, Rwanda and Cuba only wish they could do as well at locking up their own citizens.
But when you break the numbers down, things look even worse.