Bill Clinton blames himself for mass incarceration, jail-industrial complex

Bill Clinton, perhaps the most beloved president in urban American history, waited until his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, declared her candidacy for the presidency to admit that policies passed under his presidency contributed greatly to mass incarceration, better known in urban America as the mammoth monstrosity, “jail-industrial complex.”
America now incarcerates more individuals than any other industrialized nation in the world, by far, and the charismatic Clinton is at the epicenter of that explosion in prison population, overcrowding and the plethora of problems hatched from that dilemma because of a law he passed 21 years ago.
It took over 20 years for former President Clinton to point to the “three strikes” initiative as having contributed considerably overcrowding prison in huge numbers and leading to many young, black men having lifelong affiliations with the U.S. penal system, often for nonviolent offenses, crippling their futures and further fracturing urban families.
President Bill Clinton on Wednesday conceded that over-incarceration in the United States stems in part from policies passed under his administration.
Clinton signed into law a wide-reaching crime bill in 1994 that included the federal “three strikes” provision, mandating life sentences for criminals convicted of three felonies. Clinton acknowledged that policy’s role in over-incarceration in an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.
“The problem is the way it was written and implemented is we cast too wide a net and we had too many people in prison,” Clinton said Wednesday. “And we wound up…putting so many people in prison that there wasn’t enough money left to educate them, train them for new jobs and increase the chances when they came out so they could live productive lives.”
Clinton’s comments came after his wife extensively addressed prison reforms during the cultural quagmire in Baltimore with the controversial death of Freddie Gray, which sparked contentious demonstrations and also a day of riots and looting.
“Keeping them behind bars does little to reduce crime, but it does a lot to tear apart families,” Hillary Clinton said last week. “Our prisons and our jails are now our mental health institutions.”

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