More from Webb:
Let’s start with a premise that I don’t think a lot of Americans are aware of. We have 5% of the world’s population; we have 25% of the world’s known prison population. We have an incarceration rate in the United States, the world’s greatest democracy, that is five times as high as the average incarceration rate of the rest of the world. There are only two possibilities here: either we have the most evil people on earth living in the United States; or we are doing something dramatically wrong in terms of how we approach the issue of criminal justice.
Of course, the latter makes us a bit closer to the former! But I think this is a great line to put out. Moral suasion can be a very powerful force, done right. I hope Webb can allow the US to rethink the moral space of prisons and criminality — and do much, much better.