“The United States is the world’s leader in incarceration. For nearly 40 years, the prison-industrial complex expanded without interruption and nearly every social problem in America was met with a hammer. Homelessness, mental illness, drug addiction and violent crime all carried criminal penalties and lengthy sentences. Both political parties supported it, companies profited from it, and entire towns built their economies on the back of it.
“Recently, however, the political and economic coalition that created mass incarceration has come under pressure. In 2014, 30 states passed laws aimed to reduce their prison populations. These are welcome developments. Mass incarceration is a moral abomination that must be acknowledged, repudiated and unraveled.”