The Growth of Incarceration in the U.S. This video illustrates the findings of the NRC report The Growth of Incarceration in the United States: Exploring Causes and Consequences. The nation's reliance on imprisonment has not clearly improved public safety and may have had large unwanted consequences for society. A change in course is needed. The report urges policymakers to reconsider sentencing policies and to seek crime-control strategies that are more effective, with better public safety benefits and fewer unwanted consequences.