Crook and Ladder: Colbert On Firefighting Felons


| 12/3/2014 1:26:00 PM


Tags: The Colbert Report, investigative comedy, prison, labor, Soli Salgado,

Leading the world with the highest prison population, the U.S. has roughly 2.3 million inmates locked up—a quarter of the world’s prisoners, despite having only 5 percent of the global population.

Since the 1970s, the number of inmates in California has boomed 750 percent. And they’re making use of these numbers: for $2 a day, they fight the wildfires the state couldn’t otherwise afford to control. Voters passed a resolution, however, that would potentially release 10,000 state prisoners convicted for nonviolence. It’d be a hit for the state that saves more than $100 million a year on this program, but a possible solution for the overcrowding behind bars.

Stephen Colbert addressed this issue Tuesday night with the fan-favorite segment, “The Word.”