The global lockdown

Paul Bronstein/Getty Images Amnesty International has found that Pakistan has more people imprisoned facing execution than any other country in the world. Almost one third of the world’s 24,000 death-row prisoners are in Pakistan, often held in extremely tight conditions. And in fact, over 90 percent of the world’s executions take place in just six ...

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602255_070427_prison_05.jpg

Paul Bronstein/Getty Images

Amnesty International has found that Pakistan has more people imprisoned facing execution than any other country in the world. Almost one third of the world's 24,000 death-row prisoners are in Pakistan, often held in extremely tight conditions.

And in fact, over 90 percent of the world's executions take place in just six countries. Out of the 1,591 people executed last year (down from 2,148 in 2005), more than 90 percent were executed in just six countries: China (1,010), Iran (177), Pakistan (82), Iraq (65), Sudan (65), and the United States (53). But these grim execution figures are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to criminal imprisonment numbers around the world.

Paul Bronstein/Getty Images

Amnesty International has found that Pakistan has more people imprisoned facing execution than any other country in the world. Almost one third of the world’s 24,000 death-row prisoners are in Pakistan, often held in extremely tight conditions.

And in fact, over 90 percent of the world’s executions take place in just six countries. Out of the 1,591 people executed last year (down from 2,148 in 2005), more than 90 percent were executed in just six countries: China (1,010), Iran (177), Pakistan (82), Iraq (65), Sudan (65), and the United States (53). But these grim execution figures are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to criminal imprisonment numbers around the world.

In the current issue of FP, Roy Walmsley reveals just how alarming the numbers on imprisonment are on our “Prison Planet.” He finds that the global prison population is on the rise, with more than 9 million people currently behind bars. And which country incarcerates its citizens more than any other? The United States. Seven hundred and thirty-seven out of every 100,000 Americans are prisoners—and one in every 32 American adults is currently in jail, on probation, or on parole. Russia follows, with 611 out of every 100,000 people imprisoned.

But while the United States locks up people in greater numbers than the rest of the world, its imprisonment conditions could be much worse. In Zambia, the prison occupation rate stands at 331 percent, while in Haiti, almost nine out of every 10 prisoners have not even been convicted of a crime—they are still awaiting trial. In the United States, this figure is “only” around two out of every 10. Out of the OECD countries, only France, where 3.2 out of every 10 prisoners awaits trial, is worse than the United States in processing its prisoners.

Prerna Mankad is a researcher at Foreign Policy.

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