Everything wrong with America’s prison system in less than 4 minutes

About 25 percent of the world's prisoners are in the United States.


Patrick Howell O'Neill


Published Apr 5, 2014   Updated May 31, 2021, 12:49 pm CDT

It’s extremely easy to forget America’s massive prison problem.

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After all, the over 2 million adults currently incarcerated are behind bars, walls, and barbed wire, far from the rest of us. They’re out of sight, out of mind, and low on the priority list for people who have to think about jobs and schools.

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But of the more the 2 million adult prisoners in America—the highest incarceration rate in the world—most eventually get out from behind those bars. And when they do, many communities realize that not only has the broken prison system done little to rehabilitate the convicted criminals now living among them, but that the justice system can leave released prisoners with broken lives and little recourse to rebuild.

It’s a recipe for disaster.

Hank Green of Vlog Brothers fame recently teamed up with Visual.ly to craft a snappy, informative, and highly shareable video that highlights some of these big problems in America’s prison system.

Screengrab via The Vlog Brothers/YouTube

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*First Published: Apr 5, 2014, 12:09 pm CDT