America has a problem with prison over-incarceration. We incarcerate more people than any other country (excluding North Korea for which we do not have accurate statistics). Incarceration affects us all in many different ways; some personal with friends or family incarcerated. Even indirectly we spend massive amounts of money incarcerating individuals. Many prisoners are incarcerated for non-violent drug offenses. Until we admit as a nation that the War on Drugs has been an abject failure we will continue to spend billions of dollars not only enforcing laws for non-violent offenses, abuse civil rights and cause terror to minorities – who are disproportionately affected by the War on Drugs.
John Oliver’s brilliantly funny “Last Week Tonight” had a brutally honest but ultimately sad look at the prison industrial complex that has taken over America. There has been a move toward private-prisons. And although I usually am in favor of almost anything the private industry can do as opposed to the government, strict requirements that these private prisons are guaranteed a certain amount of prisoners to fill their institutions, the privatization of America’s prisons needs to be addressed in a better way than guaranteeing income for the private prison industry.
Please take the time to watch the segment from “Last Week Tonight” on the prison problem in America. It is a sad and brutally honest look at the issues involved with the American Prison Industrial Complex.