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Metcalft, Hope
June 4, 2015

Source: (2012) William Mitchell Law Review.38 1209-1215

Every so often, hyperbole is justified. How are we to express the full volume and distorted shape of the American carceral system? Approximately 1 in 100 Americans is behind bars.’ That amounts to 2.5 million people in prisons or jails at any given moment. If one were to imagine everyone gathered into one enormous penal colony-it would rank just below Chicago as the fourth largest city in America.2 Welcome to Prison City, USA. While the sheer volume of “mass incarceration” is overwhelming, still more difficult to express is the extent of “hyperincarceration”-that is, the effect of the criminal justice system on poor communities and communities of color. (Excerpt)


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