|More that 2 million people were incarcerated in the U.S. in 2016. Prosecutors -- not judges -- are responsible for many of these prison sentences (Juan Camilo Bernal/Getty Images).|
|Read excerpt: Charged (Emily Bazelon)|
It is estimated nearly 2.2 million people were incarcerated in America in 2016, and as many people in the U.S. have criminal records as have graduated from four-year colleges.
She says that in the 1980s, back when crime was on the rise, legislators across the country passed laws with mandatory minimum sentences that have disproportionately affected black and brown communities.
Bazelon spent 2 1/2 years reporting on the Brooklyn district attorney's office. Her new book, Charged, examines the power of prosecutors and looks at alternatives to bail, plea bargains and incarceration. More