Watch John Oliver explains America’s out of control prison system

How bad is the mass incarceration problem in the US? So bad that Sesame Street featured a muppet with a father in prison, so as to help the 2.7 million American children with an incarcerated parent understand what happened.


Incarcerated people, parents or not, face a system that subjects them to often horrific conditions, and which is beyond racist in its impact.

“It reminds me of a joke,” John Oliver explained on Last Week Tonight Sunday night. “‘Black people who commit drug offenses, they go to jail like this, whereas white people don’t go to jail at all.”

Watch him walk through, in considerable detail, every problem in the US corrections system from the epidemic of prison rape to the perverse incentives created by prison privatization to the alleged use of sugar to treat wounds in prison clinics.

  • Evan W44

    Great video, thanks for posting. That’s a disturbingly accurate description of the failure our prison and legal system.