Thursday, August 18, 2011

Webb Hasn't Given Up On Sentencing Reform

Jim Webb hasn’t given up on sentencing reform. He did announce in February that he’s retiring from the Senate when his term ends next year. In June, however, he published a Huff post essay reiterating the case for fundamental changes iu criminal justice policy and practice.

The talking points are painfully familiar to anyone who follows this under-reported issue. For example, let’s start with this: Why does a country with 5 percent of the world’s population hold 25 percent of the world’s prison population?

As Webb has pointed out, this figure could be taken one of two ways. It could be that we have a disproportionate share of bad actors in America. Or it could be that our criminal justice system is badly broken, so that is no longer able to distinguish between good and bad as it once did.

Which, dear reader, do you think it is? I’ve stated my view repeatedly in this blog for 2 ½ years. But I’d like to know your thoughts too.

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