The Political Rhetoric That Shaped Mass Incarceration



It is inarguable that the United States has the largest percentage of domestic incarceration in the world. Statistically, for every 100,000 citizens, 716 are locked up. During the 1970’s politicians on both sides of the aisle decided to “get tough” on crime and used rhetoric that would shape future debate.  This resulted in policies that would lead to the United States becoming the world's leader of mass incarceration. I recently interviewed Julilly Hausmann whose book “Getting Tough: Welfare & Imprisonment In 1970’s America” covers the rhetoric politicians would use to shape public opinion in order to implement these policies.

You can pick up Julilly’s book we talked about here.