More than 9 million people are imprisoned around the world, reports the London-based International Centre for Prison Studies in the sixth edition of a World Prison Population List. Based on 2005 figures, nearly half the world’s total are in the U.S. (more than 2 million), China (1.55 million), and Russia (760,000).
The study says the U.S. has the highest prison population rate in the world, about 714 per 100,000 plpulation. The next three are Belarus, Bermuda, and Russia–all 532. Prison population rates vary considerably between different regions. Examples: south American nations report a rate of 152, Caribbean countries, 324. The median rate for southern European countries is 80, for central and eastern Europe, 184. Prison poulations are growing in 73 percent of countries included in the list.