29 February 2008

Banged up, up, up

A report in the news today revealed that the American prison population had risen to an all time high, passing a figure of 1% of the total US population, according to a report issued by the Pew Center. Never mind that no-one really knows what the actual US population is, it seems a few people were having difficulties with some basic maths.

According to the BBC, "more than 1% of the [U.S.] adult population [is] behind bars. With 750 inmates per 100,000 people, imprisonment cost the 50 states more than $49bn last year, up from less than $11bn 20 years earlier."

750 per 100,000? Err, surely that's 0.75% of the population, then? Which I think is less than 1%. But, between the different calculations, that does leave about 460,000 prisoners unaccounted for. Unless they've been counting the extras in Prison break.

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