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America: The great prison nationAmerica leads the world in custody. The country’s 5,000 jails and prisons hold a staggering 2.24 million prisoners. Though home to just 1 in 20 of the global population, the USA incarcerates a quarter of the world’s prisoners. America’s proportional imprisonment rate of is 6–10 times greater than that of most developed, industrialised nations. In a typical year, some 13.5 million US citizens (out of a total population of 300 million) spend time in either jail or prison.This discussion outlines multiple areas of concern about the sheer scale and functioning of the US prison system, framed through the prism of UK comparisons.