I have read Hillary Clinton’s speech on criminal justice reform and have three observations I would like to make.
First, Hillary gave the speech at Columbia University under the auspices of the David Dinkins Leadership and Policy Forum. Hillary said that Dinkins “leadership helped lay the foundation for the dramatic drop in crime in the years that followed.” Those would be the years that Rudy Giuliani was mayor. Let me put this way. Would Hillary have walked through Times Square while Dinkins was mayor?
Second, Hillary bemoaned this country’s high incarceration rates:
It’s a stark fact that the United States has less than 5 percent of the world’s population, yet we have almost 25 percent of the world’s total prison population. The numbers today are much higher than they were 30, 40 years ago, despite the fact that crime is at historic lows.
It would seem that Hillary is yet another liberal who can’t get her head around the concept of “more prisons, less crime.” With this mind, consider what George Will wrote in The Washington Post in June 2008:
The New York Times has not recently repeated such amusing headlines as “Crime Keeps on Falling, But Prisons Keep on Filling” (1997), “Prison Population Growing Although Crime Rate Drops” (1998), “Number in Prison Grows Despite Crime Reduction” (2000) and “More Inmates, Despite Slight Drop in Crime” (2003).
If crime revives as an issue, it will be through liberal complaints about something that has reduced the salience of the issue — the incarceration rate.
Will then went on to cite Heather Mac Donald of The Manhattan Institute who showed that increases in the incarceration rate between 1999 and 2004 were exclusively due to violent crime contra President Obama’s claim that first time, non-violent offenders were languishing in prisons.
But why let the facts get in the way of an argument? Hillary has spoken. She vows to put an “end to this era of mass incarceration.” Call it her “get out of jail free” policy.
Which brings me to my third observation. Isn’t it curious that Hillary is advocating less incarceration at a time when the evidence suggests she broke the law?