Too many prisons

Jesse Epp-Fransen writes about the system of mass incarceration in the U.S. in the latest Mennonite World Review.

For too long we have seen prisons as the only solution to issues of crime, injustice and drug use. The church has been speaking about restorative justice for a number of years now, a practice that has much to give to our broken criminal justice system.

The United States has 8 percent of the world’s population but 25 percent of the world’s prison population. About 2.2 million people are in prison in the U.S., a 500 percent increase over 30 years. The war on drugs is a big reason why.

More than half of the U.S. prison population in 2010 was convicted of drug-related crimes. For 30 years prison has been a primary tool to address drug use. This has not been successful.

Read the entire article here.

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