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Germany: Low Crime, Clean Prisons, Lessons for America | Jeff Rosen | TEDx
Length | 25:57
Key takeaways -
America has one of the highest incarceration rates in the world.
The murder rate in the USA is 9 times higher than Germany and they incarcerate 10 times as many prisoners.
Since 1975, the US incarceration rate has increased by 700%, far higher than any other nation, despite America showing similar crime levels to Canada and Europe.
A study by NYU School of Law showed that increasing the length of prison sentences has little impact on reducing crime levels.
Germany has a completely different approach compared with American prisons, their main focus is on rehabilitation and preparing inmates for a life outside of prison.
German prisons are on the whole, modern, clean, inmates cook their own food and wear their own clothes. They also live in single rooms and are even permitted to leave the prison once a year providing they are well behaved.
In contrast in America inmates live in shared rooms and are locked inside for the majority of the day. There is more of a focus on punishment and less on rehabilitation.
If humans are treated like animals, they will behave like animals.
“The degree of civilisation in a society can be judged by entering its prisons” - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
“Human dignity shall be inviolable. To respect and protect it shall be the duty of all state authority” - Article 1 of the German Constitution