I really do enjoy the people who continue to say that United States isn’t a police state. You have to admire somebody who can perform such blatant acts of cognitive dissonance without instantly suffering from a mental breakdown. After all, nothing says not a police state like having a quarter of your population arrested:
We’ve heard a lot of talk lately about mass incarceration, the stop-and-frisk policies in New York, reforming the drug laws, and mandatory minimum sentencing. There’s also been discussion about over-criminalization — that we have too many laws, too broadly enforced — from groups as ideologically diverse as the Heritage Foundation, the ACLU, the Cato Institute, and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
But here’s a related statistic that’s pretty mind blowing in and of itself: According to the FBI, in 2011 there were 3991.1 arrests for every 100,000 people living in America. That means over the course of a single year, one in 25 Americans was arrested.
While that statistic doesn’t tell the whole story, as each arrest of the same person is counted separately in the raw numbers, it does tell a frightening one nonetheless. The fact that there have been, on average, 399.1 arrests for every 100,000 people is insane. If such a statistic doesn’t prove that this country has too many laws on the books I don’t know what can.