An article in the Economist explains the moral issues of mass-incarceration of Americans. As Obama noted during his recent visit (the first by an American President) to a federal prison, many of the people in prison today are there because of mistakes that aren't that different than the mistakes he himself made as a young man.
While the imposition of heavy sentences for drug crime has seen America's prison population balloon in the last number of decades, it is the increase of the length of sentences across the board which must also be addressed.
Many agree that prison is not the most appropriate sanction for those convicted of non-violent crimes, but the 'tough-sell' is acknowledging the moral hazard in over-zealous punishment of even violent offenders.
To read the full article, click here.
To download a free PDF of the book The Growth of Incarceration in the United States, as mentioned in the article, click here.