The United States has 5% of the world's population, and 25% of the world's inmates. This is a huge increase since 1980. The reason the increase is drug legislation and the strict prison sentences it brings with it. This is not unique to the United States, Norway also has high drug crimes, and 60 % of prisoners in prison in Norway have problems with addiction to drugs.
The persons that are in prison had a difficult time when growing up. They had poor finances and medical problems. Their parents had substance abuse problems and prison sentences. The social situation made them more vulnerable to self-harm. The social mobility is low. It is difficult for people from low classes to move to higher classes.
What we need to take care of is our youth. It's important that they dont get into the prison system in the first place. When 60 % of the inmates are there due to drug problems, should not this be addressed? Reproduction is still taking place. The social background of each individual is of major importance for income, education, health and crime.
Individuals make choices, but social structures affect what we choose.
How will the prisoners ever get out of prisons and get a job?
The mistake the young people make is not much more diffrent than mistakes me and you did when we were young. We think of what is normal when a young person is taken for drug use and is imprisoned. What is normal for youth to do stupid things and make mistakes in life.