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Turkey Ranks Second in Incarceration Rate, Following United States

Turkey has ranked second, after the United States, in incarceration rate among members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), according to the statistics portal Statista.

The “incarceration rate” is described on the Statista website as “the number of people in prison per 100 thousand of population”.

As of May 2018, the incarceration rate in the United States was 655 prisoners per 100 thousand U.S. residents, while the figure for Turkey is 287.

The Turkish government launched a massive crackdown on the dissident around the country, following a failed coup attempt aiming to overthrow President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2016. More than 150 thousand people including public servants and academics were sacked, while over 50 thousand individuals were imprisoned for allegedly being “terrorists”.

Israel follows Turkey with 265, taking the third spot in the statistics. The rest of the top 10 countries with the worst incarceration rates is as follows respectively:

Chile (233), New Zealand (220), Czech Republic (209), Estonia (202), Poland (199), Slovakia (188) and Hungary (184).

Iceland was at the bottom of the ranking with 38 prisoners per 100 thousand citizens, wlong with Japan (45), Sweden (57), Finland (57) and Denmark (59).

“The relatively large population of the United States when compared with other OECD countries in conjunction with the country’s extremely high incarceration rate means that the United States houses more than one half of the global prison population,” Statista explains, noting that “a large proportion” of the U.S. prison population consists of individuals jailed for “minor offences” that would have been “fined or punished through alternative means in other developed countries”.


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