John Oliver’s Satire Illustrates Prison Reform Needs

John Oliver, formerly of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, has a new show on HBO, Last Week Tonight, and they dedicated a remarkable (and hilarious) 17-minutes to critique prisons and show the need for prison reform. It’s perhaps the most entertaining way to get acquainted with the issues!

In the video, he:

  • Shows how minorities are affected out of all proportion with their portion of society
  • How the United States has 2,000,000 prisoners at the moment, even more than China
  • How even Sesame Street has been forced to deal with the issue, it being so common
  • How mandatory minimums for drug offences causes longer-than-necessary sentences
  • The condition of prisoners in solitary confinement
  • How nonviolent offenders can be handled separately from more serious offenders
  • How a significant fraction of offenders are subjected to rape
  • How cost cutting at prisons is done with little regard to prisoner conditions

All done with the usual intelligent comedy we expect from such spoof news shows.

See the video arrow1