Clinton: End 'Era of Mass Incarceration'

It's seen as a repudiation of her husband's massive crime bill of 1994
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 29, 2015 12:38 PM CDT
Hillary Clinton speaks at the David N. Dinkins Leadership and Public Policy Forum Wednesday in New York.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

(Newser) – The Baltimore riots and their underlying issues have officially become part of the 2016 race. Hillary Clinton today delivered a major speech in New York in which the takeaway sentiment is her call to end the "era of mass incarceration." As the Los Angeles Times reports, Clinton says it's time for a fundamental overhaul of sentencing, especially for nonviolent offenders. She wants less jail time for them and more treatment and rehab programs, and she thinks other alternative ideas should be investigated for young offenders in particular. She also called for police to wear body cameras in what the New York Times describes as an "unusually impassioned speech."

“From Ferguson to Staten Island to Baltimore, the patterns have become unmistakable and undeniable,” said Clinton. “Not only as a mother and grandmother, but as a citizen, a human being, my heart breaks for these young men and their families. We have to come to terms with some hard truths about race and justice in America.” At Vox, Jonathan Allen notes that Bill Clinton put into place a massive crime bill in 1994 that resulted in more cops on the street and more prisons. His wife's rejection of mass incarceration, then, is "a stunning condemnation of one of the most clear-cut policy failures of Bill Clinton's presidency."

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