Author Mark Kleiman on America’s incompetent criminal justice system

Author Mark Kleiman is angry.

In his interview with, he explains that “We have 5 percent of the world’s population; we have 25 percent of the world’s prisoners. If the criminal justice system were a parent, we’d call it abusive and neglectful.”  And the overwhelming number of prisoners is not the only problem: “The worst thing about our criminal justice system is its randomized draconianism. We’re very severe in the way we punish people, but we do so very irregularly and very erratically.”  Add to this the boundless state and government spending on U.S. prisons, the overcrowding and violence in the prisons themselves, and the demonstrated ineffectiveness of our system of punishment, and it’s no wonder why the criminal justice system makes his blood boil.  You might want to get angry, too.

But Kleiman also gives us some hope: he explains why we need to fix these problems, and proposes how we can start to make changes today.  Watch his interview, “Filling Up Prisons without Fighting Crime”, or click here to read the transcript.  And be sure to pick up a copy of When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment to learn even more about this pressing issue.