Video: A Plague of Prisons: The Epidemiology of Mass Incarceration in America


May 23, 2013 | Lisa Dawson

The growth of U.S. prison and jail populations over the last three decades (as shown in the following graph) raises a variety of questions about the nation’s ethics and the state of American democracy. With 2.25 million people behind bars, the U.S. incarceration rate exceeds that of any other country, suggesting the need for large scale reform.

The U.S. state and federal prison population has increased over 800% in just 40 years.

In the following video, “A Plague of Prisons: The Epidemiology of Mass Incarceration in America,” Michael Jacobson (Director, Vera Institute of Justice) discusses the impacts of four decades of drug policy on U.S. incarceration rates with Professor Ernest Drucker (Professor emeritus in the Department of Family and Social Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Adjunct Professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health). 

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