Nearly one in every 100 adults in America is in prison or jail.
Or, as John Oliver so helpfully points out, America has more prisoners at the moment than China. And we don’t have more of anything than China, ‘other than, of course, debt to China.’
Overcrowding in America’s prisons has become so pervasive that Sesame Street is now stepping in to explain just how we got here (2:30 minute mark)
"And of course, it’s tricky to know how to feel about all this because on the one hand, the war on drugs has completely solved our nation’s drug problem. So that’s good," Oliver jokes. "But on the other hand, our drug laws do seem to be a little draconian and a lot racist."
And Oliver isn’t wrong.
Drug offenders make up a shocking amount of prisoners in America’s penitentiary system.
Drug offenders account for more inmates than those being held on immigration-related charges, The Huffington Post reports:
"People convicted of two broad categories of nonviolent crimes — drugs and immigration — make up over 60 percent of the U.S. prison population,” The Huffington Post reported in March.”
No wonder we need John Oliver and Sesame Street to explain this system to us.