Video Shows Exactly Why US Prisons Are Messed. Up.

by Emma Cueto

Anyone who's a fan of the VlogBrothers, Hank and John Green, knows that the two are interested in a wide variety of topics and their hit YouTube videos are a reflection of this, covering everything from healthcare to children's television to an adorable squirrel. So when a video animation company contacted Hank Green and told him they would make him a high quality animated video on any subject, we can imagine how many ideas he must have cycled through before finally choosing the topic of mass incarceration in the United States. But we're glad he did, because as he says in the video, "It. Is. Messed. Up."

As awesome and informative as the typical VlogBrothers video is, it's fascinating to see animation illustrating the points this time. (Even though that bit with the paddle is kind of awkward.) Not that the Hank and John aren't hugely entertaining on their own, but still.

But like any good VlogBrothers video, what makes it most engaging are the facts it presents and the picture it paints. And can I just reiterate that the American prison system is messed up. The number of incarcerated adults in the U.S. has quadrupled over the past thirty years, the point where our country has the highest rate of incarceration per capita of any country on earth. Higher than North Korea. Let that sink in.

Obviously, very smart and dedicated people have been talking and writing about the need for prison reform for a long time. But if you want a video that can lay out the problem visually, look no further.