US: Record Numbers for World’s Leading Jailer (Human Rights Watch, 5-12-2007):
"the United States is the world’s leading prison nation,” said David Fathi, director of the US program at Human Rights Watch. “Americans should ask why the US locks up so many more of its citizens than do Canada, Britain, and other democratic countries. The US is even ahead of governments like China that use prisons as a political tool.”"
Easy question. This is the new Jim Crow. A significant number of Americans assume that there's an unsalvageable underclass that can't be educated, made productive or civilized but can only be contained. In the past, in northern cities as well as the South, they were warehoused in no-go areas where they couldn't do damage to the rest of us.
According to the narrative, the end of segregation opened the Gates of Hell: the damned poured out to rape and pillage, and the cities burned. Those were the Long Hot Summers yesteryear. Since then, in place of urban ghettos we've created a mass incarceration system to warehouse them and keep them from doing damage to the rest of us.