According to the International Centre for Prison Studies, no country worldwide incarcerates more people than the United States. By the end of 2012, the U.S. prison population had reached 1,571,013, representing 25 percent of the entire world’s prisoners.
The U.S. now jails 716 people per 100,000 of its population, quite a distance ahead of second placed St. Kitts and Nevis. This small state in the West Indies has 649 prisoners per 100,000 of its population. The prisoner rate in the Seychelles is slightly better, at 641 per 100,000.
The Virgin Islands (U.S.) and Rwanda round off the top five with prisoner rates of 539 and 527 per 100,000 of the population respectively. The U.S. is aiming to combat its swelling prison population by re-directing low-level drug offenders to treatment and community service programs.