America’s mass incarceration problem is well documented. But despite the countless books, studies, and articles on the issue, many people are still unaware that America is, without question, the incarceration king of the world.
We send a way higher percentage of our citizens to prison than other country in the world -- including the likes of North Korea. We spend far more money on prison than any other country in the world. We lock people up for longer amounts of time for less serious crimes than other countries, and we have laws in place that make it extremely difficult for these people to reintegrate into society once released. To top it off, we give prison corporations a financial incentive to keep prisons as full as possible.
Now, America’s prison problem is a complex one. It would be understandable if someone didn’t want to spend hours of their free time buried in websites researching the issue. That’s where this new video from vlogbrothers comes in handy.
Hank Green from vlogbrothers teamed up with the talented artists over at Visually to create a concise, four minute video summarizing the problem of mass incarceration in America. The video is far from an exhaustive rundown of the issue – Green admittedly leaves out crucial relevant topics like racial bias, sentencing laws, and the war on drugs – but it is a great introductory video for those not familiar with the problem. Oh, and the visual representations in it are awesome.
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Here’s the video. I guarantee you’ll think watching it was a 3:40 well spent: