Mass Incarceration in the United States is reaching levels of absolute absurdity. Nationwide, one in every 100 adults are in prison (John Oliver) and the U.S. has the highest incarceration rate of democracies by 5-10x (NYTimes).
From a Christian perspective, I have a hard time reconciling the life and teachings of Jesus with an incarceration system that is racially imbalanced (Prison Policy, Pew Research), dishes out streamlined, mandatory sentences for non-violent crimes (John Oliver, Human Rights Watch), and continues to treat inmates inhumanly.
From a non-Christian perspective, I believe everyone of these issues is also a humanist concern. Whether or not one believe in Christ should not influence how we care for our fellow humans. And that is just as much a problem for Christians, if not more so (but that is an entirely unrelated subject).
Anyways, I don’t want to spend a lot of time stating my opinions on the issue but I’m going to leave a few resources that should get you up to speed on this issue. There are a couple of editorials, some reports, and a few videos that explain the issue very well (especially the VlogBrothers episode, although it is brief).
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Pz3syET3DY
New York Times (Editorial) http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/25/opinion/sunday/end-mass-incarceration-now.html?_r=0
Human Rights Watch http://www.hrw.org/news/2014/05/06/us-nation-behind-bars
Pew Research http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2013/09/06/incarceration-gap-between-whites-and-blacks-widens/
Prison Policy Initiative http://www.prisonpolicy.org/graphs/raceinc.html
iDebate (Presents opinions of both sides) http://idebate.org/debatabase/debates/crime/house-believes-criminal-justice-should-focus-more-rehabilitation
And yes, this is my first blog post in 6 months.