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  • Good morning, John, it's Friday.


  • A few weeks ago a company called Visually emailed me.

    幾週前我收到 Visually 公司的來信。

  • Aand was like: "Hey Hank. If you could do a high-quality, animated video on any issue in the world, what would you choose?"

    他說:「嘿 Hank,如果你可以隨心所欲製作一部高品質的動畫影片,你會選擇什麼主題?」

  • Now that was a hard choice, but I went with incarceration in America, because it is messed up!


  • Now, crime is also messed up.


  • Bad things happen to good people, and that's terrible, and something should be done about it.


  • Well, we send people to prison to be punished, and to prevent them from doing bad things again, and to deter others from breaking the law.


  • Punishment, corrections, and deterrence.


  • Now we have this habit of thinking of prisoners as something very external to society.


  • After all, there are literal walls between them and society.


  • Walls capped with razor wire and watched over by people with guns.


  • But millions of prisoners are released each year.


  • Today's prisoners are tomorrow's neighbors.


  • So corrections should probably be the most important piece of the incarceration pie.


  • Unfortunately, it is not.


  • We are, however, really good at punishment.


  • America has about 4% of the world's people and about 25% of the world's incarcerated people.

    美國人口約佔全球 4% ,卻有全球 25% 的監獄人口。

  • We have the highest incarceration rate in the world.


  • Over the last 30 years, that number has skyrocketed, increasing over 400%.

    過去 30 年,監獄人口甚至以 400% 的比例急劇增加。

  • 41% of American juveniles and young adults have been arrested by the time they turn 23.

    41% 的美國青少年在 23 歲前都曾被逮補入獄。

  • Children as young as 13 years old have been sentenced to die in prison, and our prisons violate international standards.

    13 歲左右的孩子被判處無期徒刑,且連監禁制度也違反國際規範。

  • Solitary confinement increases instability and violence in inmates, and is considered by international law to be torture.


  • But in America, it's not regulated by anyone except the prison officials; no judge, no jury.


  • Arguably the most devastating form of punishment we enact in this country, and yet there is no appeals process.


  • And you think it's hard to get a job in America?


  • Well, we make it intentionally more difficult to get a job once you have a conviction on your record, not to mention just live your life.


  • Convicts are ineligible for welfare, student loans, public housing, food stamps, and are often socially disconnected from community and family support structures.


  • So in addition to have high recidivism rates, they have very high rates of homelessness and suicide.


  • Somewhere along the way, we started to think that being tough on crime meant being tough on criminals.


  • But that's not the same thing!


  • Punishment is only one piece of a much larger crime reduction pie, and it's an expensive one; with some institutions paying more than $100,000 per year per prisoner.


  • Long prison sentences have helped to decrease crime, but no more than 25% of the decrease that we've seen can be attributed to incarceration, and it costs far beyond just dollars.

    長期監禁雖能幫助降低犯罪率,但就我們的監禁體制而言頂多降低 25%,然而我們付出的不只金錢上的代價。

  • The cost is to people, to our country, to communities, to families, and to ourselves.


  • The policy seems to be, if you've committed a felony, we just give up on you.


  • These wars on crime, wars on drugs, they are wars on people.


  • The smart political move is to appear tough on crime because crime is scary.


  • So we increased minimum sentences, we arrested more people, we sent more of them to prison.


  • That's how we looked tough on crime, but the results are in: it's bad policy!


  • It's cruel, it's shortsighted, and to continue this policy of mass incarceration would be foolish.


  • We're living inside of a massive $75 billion per year failed experiment.

    我們每年花上 750 億巨款在這個失敗的實驗上。

  • 2010 was the first year in nearly 40 years that the number of incarcerated individuals in America did not increase.

    而 2010 年是近 40 年來,美國入監人數首度未增加的一年。

  • Policy makers are beginning to realize the magnitude of this failure, but there is a long way to go.


  • John, I'll see you on Tuesday.

    我是 John,我們下週二見。

Good morning, John, it's Friday.


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