Mass Incarceration is a system that exists at the crossroads of multiple issues; including homelessness, systemic racism, drug laws/legalization, government spending, corporate monopolies, and many others. Despite the multiplicity of Mass Incarceration, almost all of the issues it encompasses are publicly discussed more than it. If Mass Incarceration is a wall, the majority of the United States is content to walk around it.
As the data shows, Mass Incarceration has been on an extreme rise correlating with the beginning of the War on Drugs in the early 1970s. This is not a coincidence, as the War on Drugs made jail time for first offenders commonplace. Furthermore, prisons have been built and privatized at an unprecedented rate in this time period, leading in some cases to corporate monopolies on the “Prison Industry” and abuse of cheap (or free) prison labor.