America now imprisons more people than any other nation on earth. That wasn't always so. The graph below illustrates the astounding rise in the rates of incarceration since 1971.
The US prison population has fallen very slightly since 2012, as Politix reported last week. But that drop is almost imperceptible compared to the dramatic rise that preceded it.
The chart points to the coincidence between the launch of the War on Drugs and the sudden rise in incarcerations.