More on the US prison system

by Eszter Hargittai on June 3, 2011

We’ve talked about US incarceration rates on CT before. Peter Moskos approaches it with an interesting twist in his new book In Defense of Flogging. I have not read the book, but I did read his piece in the WSJ’s Ideas Market and you should, too. It does a very nice job of summarizing some of what is fundamentally wrong with the US prison system. Here’s a brief quote, but as we like to say, go read the whole thing:

In much of America, prisons have become nothing more than a massive government-run—one might even say “socialist”—job program. To oversimplify, but just a bit, we pay poor unemployed rural whites to guard poor unemployed urban blacks. Prison guards and private prisons advocate for more and more prisoners, literally profiting from human bondage. Such a peculiar institution should be unconscionable.