The United States has just 4.5 percent of the world’s population, but accounts for about 23 percent of the world’s post-trial imprisoned population.
With 1.6 million post-conviction inmates (which does not account for all the people on probation or in pre-trial detention), the United States’ most unique feature is the extent to which the federal government enforces day-to-day criminal laws. With more than 208,000 inmates, the United States federal government locks up more people than any other state, and more people than most other countries. Florida and California lock up a huge number of human beings.
Considering both pre-trial and post-trial inmates, the United States imprisons more people than China, Russia, and more inmates than all other developed nations combined.