Howard Wooldridge of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition reports :
Jim Webb, the new US Senator from the Commonwealth of Virginia announced on a Sunday talk show that having two million people in our prisons is 'tearing the country apart.' He said he wanted to 'get to the bottom of it' in the next 2-3 years. In my 11 years of reform he is the first Senator to admit that 2.2 million citizens in prison is a problem. I advised all the major DC offices in reform to make sure they knew of a potential ally on Capitol Hill. Webb's criminal justice advisor starts work this coming Monday and I will meet with him as soon as he has time.
Stark visualization of the problem here.
Here's another way of looking at it, via LEAP's founder, Jack Cole: At the height of apartheid, 851 of every 100,000 black men in that country were incarcerated. Today in America, 717 of every 100,000 white men are behind bars.
And black men? A staggering 4,919 of every 100,000 American black men are doing time.
UPDATE: Link fixed.