Having a look at that list on wiki unfortunately tells you very little ( if we assume for a moment that they are in any way accurate) as countries that are known to have have significant crime are listed with low incarceration rates and so on... to extrapolate the data as you have done is not advisable as it is way to general-istic. Also even though the wiki page has been updated Nov 2016, with out a reference date of census next to the data, the info could refer to any year.... The question of, for example, Russia, (450) is referring to what year and month and are we talking "horses for horses" sort of issue come up. Also we have to realize that the reporting of figures is subject to how transparent a government is and how open the government is to criticism. Putin appears to be immune to criticism, for example, as the media is fully controlled by his government, so the figure of 450/100,000 could be dramatically under-reported. It could be almost anything and the public would be none the wiser. The test: To assess how open a government is to criticism one only has to look at the mainstream media and if no criticism is found you can bet you money that the government is censoring the media significantly. The Challenge: Show a recent history of Russian media coverage that is critical of Putin and I will retract my point. However your point is fairly clear that "You are critical of the Russian judicial system and have used incarceration rates as supporting evidence" In Australia we have an emphasis on keeping minor offenders in the community doing community service whilst attending rehabilitation courses etc. This keeps the number relatively low. ( No we don't jail people for stealing a loaf of bread even if they are convicted of the crime...) Perhaps a comparison list of convictions vs incarcerations might be of use...but way to laborious and heady to bother with is my guess. === Illegal images and human trafficking: Deterrent: How ever we do jail people for encouraging the exploitation of minors and other more nasty situations through the use of illegal images taken by persons who have no empathy for the harm they are doing to the child/victim/family and ultimately the society those children grow up to participate in. To offer a deterrent to human trafficking, by making the end user responsible for some of the tragedy they are paying for and generating by their addiction. Organized crime: From what I have experienced and understand since the collapse of the Soviet Union, criminal syndication (organized crime) in Russia is systemically entrenched (as no doubt perhaps to a lesser extent it is in the USA as well). So much so that I would even suggest that a great many of those 45o/100,000 persons incarcerated in Russia, may have upset the cartels in some way and have probably been framed, blackmailed or other wise extorted. Extortion: Using illegal imagery as an extortion tool would be as you have said, very easy and one that in most modern Western nations law enforcement are all too aware of, as police officers , politicians etc, are also subject to this potential threat of false accusation and blackmail and do the IT forensic work necessary to determine validity or not. Suffice to say that the threat of sophisticated "black mail" being placed upon important people such as politicians, and yes even Presidents, is highly possible and undoubtedly will occur if not already has occurred. Racism: Given the demonstrable degree of significant racism in parts of the USA it is a wonder that the incarceration rates are not even higher. Of the 700/100,000 you have reported as incarcerated a disproportionate and significant proportion of which would be Afro American and that if anything is very telling of the degree of racism blighting the USA, in itself. 35% of all inmates are Afro American when they only make up 12-13% of the population generally and are over represented in the data. (2014) wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statistics_of_incarcerated_African-American_males The racist derived portion could account for as many as 200 incarcerations of that 700/100,00 figure cited. Regulation: I might add that most societies tend to regulate their citizens because the society generally seeks to improve it's circumstances in ways that go against those that wish to remain unchanged. To regulate in favor of the victim(s), to discourage negative behavior ( towards the well being of that society) and to allow society to ultimately change so that the regulation eventually becomes redundant and unnecessary.