John Oliver explained on Last Week Tonight that the prison system of the United States is broken and what’s even worse is the fact that Americans don’t really seem to care about it.
"The rest of us are much happier completely ignoring it,” the host said. “Perhaps, because it's so easy not to care about prisoners.”
Therefore, to attract the attention of U.S. citizens towards this pervasive problem, Oliver decided to take a leaf out of the Sesame Street– the popular children’s television series recently introduced a new Muppet named Alex as a way to talk about the stigma of having a parent in jail.
With the help of his own puppets, Oliver covered almost all the issues that surround the prison system in the country, including the growing population of prisoners, the controversial practice of solitary confinement, incidents of racism along with sexual assault cases and the tastelessness of prison rape jokes.
“We have over 2 million behind bars right now,” the comedian stated. “We have more prisoners at the moment than China. Than China. We don’t have more anything than China other than, of course, debt to China.”
The 17-minute rant also shed light upon increasing death rates due to poor healthcare and privatization of prisons by for-profit corporations which benefit from keeping more people locked up.
This is, hands down, yet another analysis perfectly executed by John Oliver. You can watch the complete segment in the video posted above.