By Robin Mackey | John Oliver is the host of HBO’s Last Week Tonight – a late night satirical take on the latest news, politics, and current events. Oliver has 100% complete creative freedom over the program. Each episode follows a similar structure: the first half of the show reviews the week’s headlines and the second half – sometimes more than half– is devoted to the main segment. Over the past year Oliver has tackled some heavy topics such as net neutrality and income equality, but none arguably as heavy as his collection of segments surrounding Incarceration in America.
Over the course this coming week we’ll be sharing a small selection of videos from this compilation. This first video is a general introduction to the myriad of issues with our prison system – America’s exceptionally high incarceration rate, the horrendous conditions inside many American prisons, the problems with privatization, the tastelessness of jokes about prison rape, and the disproportionate criminal penalties meted out to people of color for low-level drug offenses.