According to the latest data from the Department of Justice, a jaw-dropping 7 million -- or one in 32 -- Americans is in prison, on probation, or paroled. America has 4.6 percent of the world's population, but nearly a quarter of its prison inmates. The explosion has occurred over the last 20 years, which, not incoincidentally, dates back to the draconian 1986 drug bill Congress passed after the death of college basketball star Len Bias. Half of the increase in America's prisons since 1995 is due to federal drug crimes alone.
GET REASON MAGAZINE
Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online
- Peter Suderman: Obamacare's 12 false premises and broken promises. Plus: The long, tortured quest for a conservative health policy.
- Consumers should drive medicine
- Jacob Sullum: Prosecutors disarm defendants by freezing their assets
- Ronald Bailey: The Aloha State’s dishonest anti-biotech campaign