Unmistakable Proof That Something's Wrong With Our Justice System

It's well-known that the U.S. has a high incarceration rate, but this graphic representation is still rather shocking. I mean really, check out that huge spike beginning in the 1970s (which is largely due to the War on Drugs). Pretty crazy, don't ya think?

The info above is shocking on its own, but it would be a huge omission on my part if I failed to mention the role that race plays in U.S. incarceration. Did you know that in the U.S., 1 in 13 black adults have had a felony conviction, but that number for all races is only 1 in 40? For more info on race and prison, head on over to these posts on drug charges, public vs. private prisons, and juveniles.

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These graphs came from an article in The Nation and have been reposted here with permission. For what it's worth, we think the numbers from the second graph are a bit out of date (our fact checkers say they come from a 2007 report). For more up-to-date numbers, check out this document. Yep, the U.S. is wayyy out in front (we're #1!?) in the newer data set as well. Thumbnail photo is from "Orange Is the New Black" (which, just to say it, may have its own race issues as well).

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Megan Kelley

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