Long Road to Nowhere How Southern States Struggle with Long-Term Incarceration

The Deep South is the epicenter of mass incarceration. The United States incarcerates more people per capita than any other country, with prison populations growing by 86% between 1990 and 2019. For Southern states, prison populations exploded by 127% during that same period. During this time in history, America implemented “tough on crime” policies that responded to public health issues like the drug epidemic with incarceration instead of rehabilitation. Laws for even nonviolent crimes became more punitive with longer sentences, and people of color were disproportionately pushed into prisons with little hope for parole.
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