Just the Facts: It's a Locking-People-Up Problem

The American problem with mass incarceration is less about crime than it is about how—and who—we lock up.
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Research and graphics by Robert Mellinger and Doug Pibel.

The crime rate has been dropping for 15 years. But the majority of people believe it goes up every year.

In the past 30 years, the number of people in the penal system increased much more rapidly than the population.


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The United States imprisons more people than any other country.


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And we don't imprison fairly, especially when it comes to drug laws.


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Fixing the prison problem could solve our money problems.


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