The prison population in the United States has quintupled since the 1980s, with nearly 2.2 million people imprisoned. Journalist Emily Bazelon argues that a major driver of mass incarceration is the "breathtaking power" of prosecutors whose discretion in setting bail, determining charges and offering plea deals often gives them more influence than judges in criminal cases. Bazelon joins Forum to discuss her new book, "Charged: The New Movement to Transform American Prosecution and End Mass Incarceration" and how, without changing any laws, prosecutors can use their power to create a more just and less-damaging justice system.
Emily Bazelon's 'Charged' Pins Mass Incarceration on Prosecutors
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Inmates in a hallway at Chino State Prison. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Emily Bazelon, author, “Charged: The New Movement to Transform American Prosecution and End Mass Incarceration"; staff writer, The New York Times Magazine; Truman Capote Fellow for Creative Writing and Law, Yale Law School