The incarceration culture of the United States is messed up, and has been for a long time. We tend to confuse a “tough on crime” approach to law enforcement with a “tough on criminals” approach, and as such, we have the highest incarceration rates in the world (thanks in no small part to the private prison industry), with 25% of the world’s total prisoners.

Clearly we’re doing something wrong.

Hank Green, fast-talking Lord of the Internet and one half of the excellent YouTube team vlogbrothers, has teamed up with design site visual.ly to create this animation on the basics of the US prison system, and how it tends to focus much more heavily on the “punishment” element of crime reduction, and not enough on corrections and deterrence. Check it out and share it: All Americans need to see this.