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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Are prisons more important than people?

The growth in the U.S. prison-industrial complex now accounting for more than 2 million people behind bars, the world's highest number, raises disturbing questions, say Lutheran advocates:

• Why does the richest and most powerful nation on Earth have not only the highest number of prisoners in the world but also one of the highest incarceration rates?

• Why, in a time of shrinking government budgets, are prisons built and maintained but social programs that could lower crime slashed?

• Why are prisoners frequently offered little or no education and training that could help them avoid crime when released?

• Why are prisoners released with so few resources they often have no alternatives but to resort to crime?


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