Publisher: Beacon Press
Released: April 6, 2021
The United States incarcerates more of its residents than any other nation. Though home to 5% of the global population, the United States has nearly 25% of the world’s prisoners—a total of over 2 million people. This number continues to steadily rise. Over the past 40 years, the number of people behind bars in the United States has increased by 500%.
Journalist Victoria Law explains how racism and social control were the catalysts for mass incarceration and have continued to be its driving force: from the post-Civil War laws that states passed to imprison former slaves, to the laws passed under the “War Against Drugs” campaign that disproportionately imprison Black people. She breaks down these complicated issues into four main parts:
1. The rise and cause of mass incarceration
2. Myths about prison
3. Misconceptions about incarcerated people
4. How to end mass incarceration
“Prisons Make Us Safer” is a necessary guide for all who are interested in learning about the cause and rise of mass incarceration and how we can dismantle it.