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The world's most punitive democracy [revisited]

39 minutes

We're digging into the archives this week for another episode on race and criminal justice. Peter K. Enns, associate professor in the Department of Government at Cornell University, Executive Director of the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research, and author of Incarceration Nation: How the U.S. Became the Most  Like the conversation with Frank Baumgartner last week, we look at how public opinion around criminal justice has changed over the past two years and how that translates into public policy.

Enns argues that, while public opinion around criminal justice continues to shift, we still don't have anything close to a clear picture about what's happening inside correctional institutions. That, he says, makes it tough for the public to fully grasp the gravity of how incarcerated people are treated and inhibits progress toward a more just, rehabilitative system. We also talk about whether it's possible to both deal with COVID-19 in prisons and jails while also pushing for long-term structural change — and how making conditions healthier and safer benefits everyone.

Additional Information

Incarceration Nation: How the U.S. Became the Most Punitive Democracy in the World

Peter K. Enns on Twitter

Roper Center for Public Opinion Research

The Marshall Project - nonprofit journalism on criminal justice

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