With America now locking up more people than any other country on earth, their prison population now amounts to 20 percent of the total prison population on Earth even though only having 5 percent of the actual population. This is a direct result of the though on crime mindset politicians such as Ronald Reagan enforced over the last three decades and contributed to an unsustainable number of people being incarcerated. New court rulings have declared overcrowded prisons to be unconstitutional and is forcing prisons to let prisoners back out on the streets.
VICE News was granted rare access to go inside one of the most maximum-security prisons in the country, a place that’s on the frontline of what could be a sea change in prison policy. Salinas Valley State Prison is home to America’s most powerful prison gangs including the Aryan Brotherhood and Mexican Mafia. It’s a place that’s projected to have more than 700 assaults this year. In an institution that houses the worst of the worst, we see how one maverick warden is trying to turn the system around by rehabilitating murderers before they get returned to the streets.