Ending Mass IncarcerationBringing Dignity to Life Behind Bars

Lessons from Abroad

For decades as the U.S. prisoner population swelled, officials here eschewed comparisons with their counterparts in Europe. That’s no longer true. Curiosity and genuine openness to new ideas are spreading. 

Two delegations of corrections administrators and lawmakers joined us to visit prisons in Europe, with the second trip featured on 60 Minutes. What they saw firsthand—the focus on rehabilitation over retribution and an underlying commitment to human dignity—is finding a foothold in the facilities they oversee. The visits are part of a larger effort to promote cross-cultural learning in an area of social policy where America hasn’t been on the leading edge.

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