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“America’s prison system is embarrassingly immense. That’s one of the few areas of bipartisan agreement in our fractious politics, and the facts back it up.
“While the United States has less than 5 phttps://justiceroundtable.org/wp-admin/post-new.php?post_type=news-itemercent of the world’s population, it houses nearly a quarter of the world’s prisoners. Our prison and jail population has quintupled since the 1970s, even as crime rates are near historic lows, and American taxpayers spend some $80 billion per year on incarceration.
“Conventional wisdom says that two forces got us here. First, the war on drugs locked up huge numbers of nonviolent offenders. And second, mandatory minimums and other harsh sentencing laws left inmates languishing in prison for decades on end.”