Info sheet: Plea bargaining and mass incarceration


The United States incarcerates more people than any other country in the world. Overcriminalisation means courts have too many cases to try, so plea bargaining has become a convenient mechanism for mass adjudication.

This info sheet analyses why plea bargaining has become both a facilitator and a driver of mass incarceration and explains why restoring due process could help to slow the rush to mass convictions.

As part of our campaign to reduce the over-reliance on plea bargaining in the US, we have also produced a series of films, the first of which address the relationship between plea bargaining and mass incarceration, click here to watch it.