Stephen Fry talks about the rate of imprisonment in the USA.
This recent clip from comedian Stephen Fry’s television panel game show, “QI” (Quite Interesting), took a humorous but disturbing look at America’s prison system.
From the clip, after Fry asks, "where are one percent of American adults?":
"When talking about contraband, is that, you’re not allowed to bring anything into the country that’s made by forced labor or prisons. But, in America, you can almost say, if you were so minded, that they’ve re-invented the slave trade. They produce, for example, 100 percent of all military helmets, ammunition belts, bullet proof vests, ID tags and other items and uniforms, 93 percent of domestically-produced paints, 36 percent of home appliances, 21 percent of office furniture, which allows the United States to compete with factories in Mexico because of course obviously the workers can’t refuse to work for 25 cents and hour."
No Laughing Matter:
Last year, U.S. Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., introduced a bipartisan bill that would set up a national commission dedicated to studying how to reduce prison overcrowding, prison violence and recidivism. Webb, who favors an end to federal mandatory minimum sentences for drug crimes, supports alternatives to incarceration for nonviolent offenders. Perhaps reviewing slave labor practices within the prison system might lead to more aggressive overhaul.