By Lila Panagides / Springfield News-Leader

There has been much talk about national security lately focusing mostly on the Middle East.  Image courtesy prx.org

Here at home, we are facing a serious national security crisis that, fortunately, is getting some attention — but perhaps not enough from the public.

This crisis developed over the last 20 years due to poor policy choices and a failure to see downstream impacts.

I’m referring to our prison crisis — the mass incarceration of our people.

The U.S. population is 5 percent of the world’s population yet it incarcerates 25 percent of the total world’s prison population, just ahead of China and Russia.

Nationally, the statistics are abysmal: If you are born black today, you have a 1 in 3 chance of spending some time in prison; if you are Hispanic, you have a 1 in 6 chance; and if you are born white, you have a 1 in 17 chance of ending up in prison.

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About Christopher Zoukis, MBA

Christopher Zoukis, MBA, is the Managing Director of the Zoukis Consulting Group, a federal prison consultancy that assists attorneys, federal criminal defendants, and federal prisoners with prison preparation, in-prison matters, and reentry. His books include Directory of Federal Prisons (Middle Street Publishing, 2020), Federal Prison Handbook (Middle Street Publishing, 2017), Prison Education Guide (PLN Publishing, 2016), and College for Convicts: The Case for Higher Education in American Prisons (McFarland & Company, 2014).

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