The 10 countries with the most prisoners

Almost half of the world’s prisoners are in the U.S., China or Russia — countries which account for just over a quarter of the world’s population. The rise in prison populations is evident in every continent. The world prison population rate has risen by about 6% from 136 per 100,000 of the world population to the current rate of 144.


 

Indonesia

MW-DW354_prison_20151013193030_ZHPrisoners: 161,692

Prison population rate (per 100,000 of national population): 64

Above, the compounds of the Abepura prison located in Jayapura in the eastern province of Papua.

 

Turkey

MW-DW353_prison_20151013192832_ZH

Prisoners: 165,033

Prison population rate (per 100,000 of national population): 212

Above, prisoners in Diyarbakir, Turkey.

 

Iran

MW-DW352_prison_20151013192559_ZHPrisoners: 225,624

Prison population rate (per 100,000 of national population): 290

Above, a wax statue of a detainee displayed in a cell of the “Qasr prison”, a former prison hosting political prisoners that was turned into a museum in 2012.

 

Mexico

MW-DW351_prison_20151013192353_ZHPrisoners: 255,138

Prison population rate (per 100,000 of national population): 212

Above, federal policemen stand guard outside the Altiplano prison in Almoloya de Juarez, Mexico July 12 after Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman escaped from a maximum-security prison.

 

Thailand

MW-DW349_prison_20151013192203_ZHPrisoners: 308,111

Prison population rate (per 100,000 of national population): 466

Above, Myanmar national Zaw Lin arrives in a prison transport van on the Thai resort island of Koh Samui July 9, 2015 before a high-profile trial of two Myanmar migrants charged with killing two British holidaymakers.

India

MW-DW348_prison_20151013191943_ZHPrisoners: 411,992

Prison population rate (per 100,000 of national population): 33

Above, Puzhal Central Prison in Chennai, India.

Brazil

MW-DW347_prison_20151013191741_ZHPrisoners: 607,731

Prison population rate (per 100,000 of national population): 301

Above, detainees pray in the overcrowded Desembargador Raimundo Vidal Pessoa penitentiary June 25 in Manaus, Amazonas state, Brazil. The aging prison has an official capacity of about 250 but now holds around 700 prisoners. A Justice Ministry report states that Brazil’s prisons only have the capacity for 376,000 inmates. The report notes that number of Brazilians behind bars nearly doubled in a decade.

Russian Federation

MW-DW346_prison_20151013191604_ZHPrisoners: 649,500

Prison population rate (per 100,000 of national population): 446

Above, prisoners cross themselves as they attend a service at the Alexander Nevsky church at Kresty prison in St. Petersburg April 18.

 

China

MW-DW345_prison_20151013191342_ZHPrisoners: 1,657,812

Prison population rate (per 100,000 of national population): 119

Above, inmates line up during a ceremony to celebrate the Spring Festival at the Chuanxi Prison Jan. 24, 2009 in Chengdu of Sichuan province, China.

 

United States

MW-DW343_prison_20151013191156_ZHPrisoners: 2, 217,000

Prison population rate (per 100,000 of national population): 698

Above, George Whitfield, age 56, uses a walker to walk back to his cell block at California State Prison, Solano, in 2013 in Vacaville, Calif. As of June 2013, the state of California had 133,000 prisoners, of which approximately 15,000 were over the age of 55. According to Human Rights Watch, the number of prisoners 55-and-older in the U.S. is skyrocketing by 282%.

Gurminder Grewal

Gurminder Grewal

Versatile Blogger and owner of wikigrewal,com. Drop me an email

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