"Every ten or eleven people that you meet, someone is going to either know someone in prison, has been in prison with a record, or you met them and they are going off to prison," says Michael Stoll, co-author of Why are so Many Americans in Prison?

ReasonTV's Tracy Oppenheimer sat down with Stoll to discuss why incarceration rates and associated prison costs in America have exploded in the last few decades, and possible ways to reform the system.

"That increase [in incarceration rates] that we saw, 80 percent of that through our analysis, was driven by policy changes, not by the increased criminality of citizens in the United States," says Stoll. "One of the things that I think needs to be done—and we know that this is politically difficult—is there has to be reform in sentencing."

About 7 minutes.

Edited by Tracy Oppenheimer. Camera by Zach Weissmueller and Sharif Matar.

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