A commonly heard refrain is that the US has an “over-incarceration” problem.
Focusing on the raw number of people imprisoned, critics of the criminal justice system claim that far too many people are locked up for too long, many of them for relatively minor offenses, and that they need to be set free.
Even President Trump bought into that, signing a bill called the “First Step Act,” derided by many on the right as the “jailbreak bill.”
However, some Republicans are growing more willing to push back on the over-incarceration narrative, noting that, in reality, the US probably locks up too few, not too many people.
One such person is Senator Tom Cotton, who recently took to RealClearPolitics to pen an op-ed on the need for “moral clarity” on the incarceration debate and why support for criminal justice reform is misguided.
In the article, Cotton mainly slams Soros-backed prosecutors and their soft on crime policies, saying:
All of these cities have paid a terrible price for these insane policies. Last year, the number of homicides in Chicago rose by 56%, and more than 1,000 Cook County residents have been murdered in 2021. In New York City, murder increased 47% and shootings soared 97%. In 2020, the murder rate in Baltimore was higher than El Salvador’s or Guatemala’s — nations from which citizens often attempt to claim asylum purely based on gang violence and murder—and this year murder in Baltimore is on track to be even higher. Murder in Los Angeles rose 36% last year and is on track to rise another 17% this year.
However, he doesn’t stop there, confining his attacks to the usual assault on Soros-backed prosecutors, instead also calling out Trump’s First Step Act:
In 2018, Republicans passed the pro-criminal First Step Act. That deeply flawed legislation reduced sentences for crack dealers and granted early release to some child predators, carjackers, gang members, and bank robbers. Ironically, this jailbreak bill even provided early release for those who helped prisoners break out of jail.
This misguided push by Republicans to win applause from liberals strengthened the hand of radicals like George Soros. In a political environment where the parties compete for who can be more pro-criminal, the Democrats will always win.
Cotton is right. We need to lock up criminals, not set them free to win the applause of leftists.