The United States is the prison capital of the world. Despite having 5% of the world’s total population, the U.S. houses roughly a quarter of the world’s prisoners. The majority live in cramped, shameful squalor.
In their efforts to curb prison overcrowding, some states are sending inmates to private out-of-state prisons hundreds or even thousands of miles away from home. This policy impedes rehabilitation, hurts families, and rewards rent-seeking prisons. I co-authored this piece with Holly Kirby, a researcher and organizer with Grassroots Leadership. I currently serve on Grassroots’ Board of Directors. You can read more in Al Jazeera America.