There is something perverse about America’s fascination with mass incarceration. In the past four decades, the prison population has exploded 500 percent, says Rolling Stone.
So why is there hardly any action on the mass incarceration problem?
Kentucky senator Rand Paul is one of those people who just can’t get over this. He’s been using every opportunity he can get to talk about the need for criminal justice reform.
“We are putting young black men in jail at a rate never before seen in history and it’s because of this war on drugs,” he said on The Wilkow Majority.
“But now that I’ve been speaking out and saying that mass incarceration is the new Jim Crow, now all of a sudden the Clintons are saying, ‘oh wait a minute, we are going to be back on the other side of this issue right now.’” (Buzzfeed)
Paul, who visited both Ferguson and Baltimore, asked why Democrats haven’t done more.
“Someone from the DNC is listening to our radio interview now and they’re looking for ways to attack me because they see me as a threat to Hillary Clinton,” Paul said. “I’m going to the south side of Chicago, I’m going to the inner city Philadelphia, I’m going to Baltimore, I’m going to Ferguson and I’m saying what have the Democrats done for you? What have they done to alleviate poverty? What have they done on crime? What have they done for the young men in your community and you know what it’s starting to gain traction.” (Washington Post)
Rand Paul isn’t alone in seeing that America’s justice system badly needs reform. Other politicians like Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders as well as billionaires such as George Soros and the Koch brothers are also on board with this.
Yet there’s hardly any progress. As Grover Norquist points out for Rolling Stone:
“Nobody is trying to hit home runs. This is all about singles and not yet any doubles.”
So what’s the hold up? How can we get more people working with Rand Paul to change things faster?
“When it comes to a system that keeps millions under lock and key, even Jeremy Travis (who oversaw a 2014 report on mass incarceration) recognizes there simply is no quick fix. “It took us 40 years to get here,” he says. “Hopefully, it doesn’t take another 40 years to get us out.” (Rolling Stone)
Share your thoughts with us in the comments below on how we can spread more awareness about fixing the problems behind mass incarceration.
(Photo courtesy of David Amsler, Flickr CC BY 2.0)
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