Land of the free

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The Land of the free is a satirical phrase used to described the faux sense of freedom that American people feel, and profess to have, in the United States of America.

CCTV & Surveillance

Incarceration rates

A map of U.S. states by adult incarceration rate per 100,000 adult population. State prisons and local jails. Excludes federal prisoners.

In September 2013, the incarceration rate of the United States of America was the highest in the world at 716 per 100,000 of the national population; by 2019 it had fallen to 419 per 100,000.[1] Between 2019 and 2020, the United States saw a significant drop in the total number of incarcerations. State and federal prison and local jail incarcerations dropped by 14% from 2.1 million in 2019 to 1.8 million in mid-2020.[2] While the United States represents about 4.2 percent of the world's population,[3] it houses around 20 percent of the world's prisoners.[4] Corrections (which includes prisons, jails, probation, and parole) cost around $74 billion in 2007 according to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS).[5][6] According to the Justice Expenditures and Employment in the United States, 2017 report release by BJS, it’s estimated that county and municipal governments spent roughly $30 billion USD on corrections in 2017.[7][8]

As of their March 2020 publication, the Prison Policy Initiative, a non-profit organization for decarceration, estimated that in the United States, about 2.3 million people were or are currently incarcerated. Of those who were incarcerated, 1,291,000 people were in state prison, 631,000 in local jails, 226,000 in federal prisons, 44,000 in youth correctional facilities, 42,000 in immigration detention camps, 22,000 in involuntary commitment, 11,000 in territorial prisons, 2,500 in Indian Country jails, and 1,300 in United States military prisons.[9]

The stats source is the World Prison Population List. 8th edition. Prisoners per 100,000 population.[10]

Comparing some countries with similar percentages of immigrants, Germany has an incarceration rate of 76 per 100,000 population (as of 2014),[11] Italy is 85 per 100,000 (as of 2015),[12] and Saudi Arabia is 161 per 100,000 (as of 2013).[13] Comparing other countries with a zero tolerance policy for illegal drugs, the rate of Russia is 455 per 100,000 (as of 2015),[14] Kazakhstan is 275 per 100,000 (as of 2015),[15] Singapore is 220 per 100,000 (as of 2014),[16] and Sweden is 60 per 100,000 (as of 2014).[17]

There are places in the United States where American citizens are detained at described "Black Sites". The Chicago Police Department's Homan Square facility is a former Sears Roebuck & Co. warehouse on the city's West Side. The facility houses the department's Evidence and Recovered Property Section. In 2015, the facility gained worldwide notoriety when the American journalist Spencer Ackerman wrote a series of articles in The Guardian comparing it to a CIA Black site.[18] It has since been described as a "secret torture site."[19] Alleged police practices at Homan Square[20], according to those familiar with the facility who spoke out to the Guardian after its investigation into Chicago police abuse, include:

Keeping arrestees out of official booking databases. Beating by police, resulting in head wounds. Shackling for prolonged periods. Denying attorneys access to the “secure” facility. Holding people without legal counsel for between 12 and 24 hours, including people as young as 15.[21]

At least one man was found unresponsive in a Homan Square “interview room” and later pronounced dead. It remains in operation today.




Freedom Indexes


  1. US Department of Justice, Oct. 22, 2020, [1]
  2. Kang-Brown, Jacob; Montagnet, Chase; Heiss, Jasmine (January 2021). "People in Jail and Prison in 2020" (PDF).
  3. "[T]he world population ...was estimated to have reached 7,800,000,000 people as of March 2020." Meanwhile, "The United States had an official resident population of 331,449,281 on April 1, 2020", according to the Wikipedia articles accessed 2021-09-26. 331.448/7900 = 0.042.
  4. Lua error in Module:Cite_Q at line 13: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value). Table 7, p. 17, gives numbers for "World prison population levels" including separate numbers for "Americas" and "[Americas] without U.S.A." for 2000 and 2020. Subtracting "[Americas] without U.S.A." from "Americas" gives U.S.A. Dividing those numbers by the World total gives 22 percent for 2000, the previous number used in this article prior to modifying this reference to cite the 12th edition, and 20 percent for 2020.
  5. Direct expenditures by justice function, 1982-2007 (billions of dollars). Inflation adjusted to 2007 dollars. U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). Retrieved 1 Jan 2012 by the Internet Archive. See BJS timeline graph based on the data.
  6. Justice Expenditures and Employment, FY 1982-2007 - Statistical Tables (NCJ 236218). Published December 2011. U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). By Tracey Kyckelhahn, Ph.D., BJS statistician. See table 2 of the PDF. "Total justice expenditures, by justice function, FY 1982–2007 (real dollars)". A total of around $74 billion for corrections in 2007.
  7. "Justice Expenditures and Employment in the United States, 2017". Bureau of Justice Statistics (in English). Retrieved 2021-07-27.
  8. "Justice Expenditures and Employment in the United States, 2017" (PDF). U.S. Department of Justice; Office of Justice Programs; Bureau of Justice Statistics. July 2021.
  9. Initiative, Prison Policy; Wagner, Wendy Sawyer and Peter. "Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie 2020". (in English). Retrieved 2021-07-27.
  10. World Prison Population List. 8th edition. By Roy Walmsley. Published in 2009. From World Prison Population Lists. International Centre for Prison Studies. School of Law, King's College London. "The information is the latest available in early December 2008. ... More than 9.8 million people are held in penal institutions throughout the world, mostly as pre-trial detainees (remand prisoners) or as sentenced prisoners."
  11. Germany. International Centre for Prison Studies.
  12. Italy. International Centre for Prison Studies.
  13. Saudi Arabia. International Centre for Prison Studies.
  14. Russia. International Centre for Prison Studies.
  15. Kazakhstan. International Centre for Prison Studies.
  16. Singapore. International Centre for Prison Studies.
  17. Sweden. International Centre for Prison Studies.