Are Prisons Being Run Ethically in the US?

The US has, far and away, the highest number of people imprisoned of any country on Earth. Why, exactly, is a complicated web of institutionalized racism, the “War on Drugs,” and other systematic failings of the uniquely American criminal justice system. This begs the question: are prisons being run ethically in the US?

Many criminal justice reform advocates argue that no, in fact, prisons in the US are not being run ethically. Many prisons are privately owned, and the US seems to view prison as more of a punishment than a chance for rehabilitation. Rather than try to build prior offenders back up into society, prison seems only meant to break them down.

Adding to that, poor medical care for inmates seems to be the norm. In many prisons, medical failings like failure to diagnose breast cancer, women being left in solitary confinement while giving birth and men being left with untreated wounds after prison riots paint a grisly picture of an unethical prison-industrial complex.