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John Oliver and the Muppets explain the broken prison system

"We have over two million people behind bars right now. We have more prisoners at the moment than China -- than China. We don't have anything more than China other than debts to China."
By Aileen Graef Follow @AileenGraef Contact the Author   |   July 21, 2014 at 12:32 PM
NEW YORK, July 21 (UPI) -- John Oliver slammed the "broken" prison system in the United States, pointing out that imprisonment is so prevalent that the Muppets have to teach children about it.

On Sunday's episode of Last Week Tonight, Oliver rails against racial inequality, prison conditions and the cost-cutting practice of privatizing prisons.

"We have over two million people behind bars right now. We have more prisoners at the moment than China -- than China. We don't have anything more than China other than debts to China," said Oliver, citing the recent statistics from Human Rights Watch.

"Our drug laws do seem to be a little draconian and a lot racist," he said.

Oliver pointed out that black people are 10 times more likely to be incarcerated than white people.

"So many people are incarcerated in America right now that it has become one of the things that Sesame Street has to explain to children," said Oliver. "Just think about that. We need adorable, singing puppets to explain prison to children in the same way they explain the number seven or what the moon is."

He finished the segment with a Sesame Street song to explain the problems in the prison system.

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