Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Why the Incarceration Boom Happened

One segment of the working population benefits from convictions: prosecutors.

In 1999, the unemployment rate in the U.S. was just 4.2 percent, compared with 8.6 percent in Germany and 11.3 percent in France. The labor force participation rate (the percentage of the working-age population either with jobs or actively looking for them) was substantially higher in the U.S. than in those countries, too.

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