The United States has the most punitive criminal legal system in the world, containing 25 percent of the world’s prison population. Prisons and jails in the United States are overcrowded, unsanitary and dehumanizing. In comparison to many other nations, the United States employs prison as a response to offenses more frequently and incarcerates people for longer periods of time.
The way that we treat and rehabilitate incarcerated people should reflect the kind of society and behavior that we want. Preparing people to be successful students and workers as well as good neighbors, family members and friends after release should be centered in American jails and prisons.