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Prisoners stand outside the federal correctional institution in Englewood, Colorado Prisoners stand outside the federal correctional institution in Englewood, Colorado, Feb. 18, 2020 (AP photo by David Zalubowski).

The World Is Suffering From an Epidemic of Imprisonment

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Democratic backsliding and encroachments on the rule of law by autocratic governments have justifiably received significant attention in recent years. Yet troubling and dangerous as these trends are, there is another, often-overlooked threat encroaching on the rule of law in countries around the world: mass incarceration.

In many nations, imprisonment has become the default criminal punishment. Pretrial arrest and detention are also commonplace, with millions of people in jail awaiting trial around the world, sometimes for years. A recent report, Global Prison Trends 2020, published by the criminal justice advocacy group Penal Reform International and the Thailand Institute of Justice, meticulously details the shocking scope of the issue. ...

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