Season 2 Episode #3: On Mass Incarceration

Listen to Public Problems Podcast Season 2 Episode #3: On Mass Incarceration with Andie Parnell, Ashley Alley, Samantha Wilkinson, Cannon Tate, Mei-Hsuan Lee, and Joe Ladmirault.

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A quarter of the world’s prisoner population is located in the United States. The incarceration problem has become a vicious circle, difficult to break and indefinitely repeating itself. The average number of prisoners in the US is almost five times higher than the next highest number among developed countries. What explains this phenomenon, that is less than intuitive? What are the consequences of a large number of individuals incarcerated, who by all accounts do not pose a threat to society? How does this affect peoples’ lives and policymaking overall? Public service and administration students at the Bush School for Government and Public Service were so astounded by this figure that they pursued a semester-long research project on mass incarceration in the United States. They attempt to answer these questions in their research and offer viable alternatives to current approaches in dealing with high levels of incarceration. In this podcast, the host invites discussion of their findings and their significance for policy change today. Due to the long history of the prison system in the United States, the guests entangle some of the underlying issues that are tightly related to the panorama today. Namely, slavery, racial tensions, and drugs are analyzed in detail throughout the podcast.

Sources cited:
To read more on Michelle Alexander’s book The New Jim Crow visit the website

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