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Sen. Tom Cotton on Thursday slammed his colleagues' efforts to pass sweeping criminal justice reforms, saying the United States is actually suffering from an "under-incarceration problem."
Cotton, who has been an outspoken critic of the bill in Congress that would reduce mandatory minimum sentences, smacked down what he called "baseless" arguments that there are too many offenders locked up for relatively small crimes, that incarceration is too costly, or that "we should show more empathy toward those caught up in the criminal-justice system."
America has more people in prison per ca pita than any other nation on Earth.
According to the US Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), 2,220,300 adults were incarcerated in US federal and state prisons,
This was a seemingly unbelievable figure that turned out to be correct. The widely cited statistic about the United States’ share of prisoners compared to other countries recently earned the rare Geppetto Checkmark by The Fact Checker.
A more reliable way to compare incarceration practices between countries is the prison population rate. Even by that measure, the United States had the highest prison population rate in the world, at 716 per 100,000 people. More than half the 222 countries and territories in the World Prison Population List, by the U.K.-based International Center for Prison Studies, had rates below 150 per 100,000.