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U.S. is world's biggest jailer as more than one in 100 adults languish behind bars-Russia highest number of inmates Europe
More than one in every 100 American adults is in prison, making the United States the world's biggest jailer, according to a Pew report published today.The numbers - based on January statistics released by the International Centre for Prison Studies at King's College, London - put U.S. prison numbers far above those of China, which has 1.5 million people behind bars even though its total population is more than four times bigger than the United States'. South Africa has 341 prisoners per 100,000 citizens, Iran has 222 per 100,000, and China 119, according to the King's College centre's World Prison Brief. The 50 U.S. states spent nearly $49 billion (£25 billion) on prisons last year, up from less than US$11 billion 20 years earlier, the report said.Prison spending has risen six times faster than higher education spending, the Pew Centre said, and has actually overtaken it in Vermont, Michigan, Oregon and Connecticut."These sad facts reflect a very distorted set of national priorities," said Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont.
Russia and other former Soviet republics had the highest rates of incarceration in Europe. Russia, with a total of 890,000 people in prison, has 628 inmates per 100,000 people, followed by Belarus with 426 per 100,000, Georgia with 401 per 100,000 and Ukraine with 345 per 100,000.