Between the 1960s and the 1990s, the incarceration rate in this country skyrocketed some 400%, far outpacing any other industrialized democracy. And for some time since, scholars have so thought they understood why that happened it has become almost an unquestioned truth. But are truths always true? Turns out to be something of a whodunnit, actually, with the principal detective being my guest today.

Joining Peter from Cornell University is Peter Enns. Peter is an associate professor in the Department of Government, is the executive director of the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research, as well as the author of the just-published book, Incarceration Nation: How the United States Became the Most Punitive Democracy in the World.