© 2023 Cincinnati Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Have questions about the Cincinnati Southern Railway sale on the Nov. ballot? We've got answers >>

Why Does The U.S. Have The Highest Incarceration Rate In The World?


The number of people incarcerated in the United States is higher than any other nation in the world. Although that figure has decline in recent years according to the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics, there were slightly under 1.5 million people in prison at the end of 2017. If you gathered those people in one place, it would be one of the largest cities in the country.

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, with the Ohio Justice & Policy Center and the Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio, is examining the role of structural racism in the nation’s disproportionate incarceration rates. The Freedom Center is holding a virtual talk April 13 at 2 p.m. to discuss the links between race, criminalization and incarceration in the nation.

Joining Cincinnati Edition to discuss the talk with the Ohio Justice and Policy Center are Deputy Director Sasha Naiman; and Senior Paralegal Shelia Donaldson; and with the Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio Center for Social Justice is Director Rickell Howard Smith.

A note, in our on-air discussion we incorrectly reported that the nation's Black population stands at 17%. The latest figures from the U.S. Census Bureau put the nation's Black population at 13.4%.

Listen to Cincinnati Edition live at noon M-F. Audio for this segment will be uploaded after 4 p.m. ET.

Never miss an episode by subscribing to our podcast: 

Michael Monks brings a broad range of experience to WVXU-FM as the host of Cincinnati Edition, Cincinnati Public Radio's weekday news and information talk show.