While the topic of prison reform doesn’t usually get much press, the sad reality is that America’s prison system is nothing short of a national disgrace. The United States currently imprisons more than one quarter of the prisoners on earth, as well as more people per capita than any other nation on Earth. While reforming our drug laws and eliminating excessively harsh three-strikes laws will solve a significant part of the problem, the fact remains that our nation’s approach to crime and punishment needs to be overhauled.
To address these problems, we need to end the corrupting influence of the prison-industrial complex, establish standards for the humane treatment of prisoners, and ensure that those unfortunate enough to end up in prison are given access to the tools necessary to successfully rehabilitate themselves before reentering society.
To better understand why prison reform is so necessary, watch John Oliver’s recent explanation on Last Week Tonight:
Furthermore, both federal and state legislatures need to expand the availability of expungement to individuals who have served their sentences and demonstrated that they have been properly rehabilitated. To better understand why rehabilitated convicts should be given the opportunity to clear their criminal records, read this article in the Baltimore Sun.