Despite the mainstream media‘s routine push to frame America’s prison system as a network overloaded with petty criminals, America actually has an under-incarceration problem, according to an op-ed written by Sen. Tom Cotton, R.-Ark.
According to Cotton, anti-law-enforcement and anti-prison rhetoric from leftists have had dire effects on the American justice system.
“Ill-conceived anti-prison policies rooted in platitudes, lies, and misleading statistics have unleashed thousands of criminals onto the streets,” Cotton wrote. “As a result, our nation is grappling with a de-incarceration crisis that is costing lives and eroding the rule of law.”
Leftists who have argued that prisons are too full, forget—intentionally or not—that the majority of crimes in the United States go unsolved or unreported, he said.
Moreover, he continued, the average criminal serves only 44% of his or her initial sentence, despite the fact that most prison sentences are artificially low due to leftist courts and sweet plea deals.
According to Cotton, recent improvements in minimum prison sentences “are being eroded by retroactive sentencing reductions and new avenues for judges to skirt the mandatory-minimum requirements.”
For example, the 2018 First Step Act delivered a major setback to previous improvements.
Cotton claimed that the 2018 “jailbreak law unleashed thousands of gang members and drug traffickers back onto the streets and helped many career criminals avoid tough sentences” in the name of helping them start over.
Despite the current predicament, the Arkansas senator warned that things may get much worse before they get better.
In light of drastic spikes in violent crime, Democrats have only amplified their radical demands in recent months.
“Many Democrats want to make the de-incarceration crisis even worse,” Cotton wrote. “During the 2020 campaign, President Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders signed a document calling for an end to cash bail, which would release hundreds of thousands of dangerous criminals from jail.”
With the crime crisis escalating, drug traffickers are flooding across the border as the federal government does nothing but encourage illegal immigration.
Further, the federal, state, and city governments have done little to curb violent crime related to Black Lives Matter– and Antifa-led riots over the past 15 months.
In many instances, arrests were met with immediate release from jail, with no bail required.
The government’s approach to leftist rioters served as a striking contrast with its treatment of pro-Trump demonstrators who briefly took over the US Capitol on Jan. 6.
In any case, the new administration’s approach to criminals has been to release them back onto the streets.
“These criminals could immediately return to a life of crime and could intimidate witnesses against them,” Cotton wrote.
Cotton noted that Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker, a far-left Democrat, recently signed legislation abolishing cash bail in his state by 2023, “because apparently Chicago needs more criminals on its streets.”
He also pointed to the fact that comparing America’s incarceration rate to other countries created a false equivalency since other countries might have stronger legal consequences or cultural stigmas in place to deter crime.
Or they might simply be more willing to high rates of crime.
“Some critics claim that too many Americans are in prison because our incarceration rate is significantly higher than other countries,” Cotton said.
“This is not the way to make policy,” he continued. “The failure of other nations to enforce their laws—or the lower criminality of faraway societies—does not compel our government to neglect its duty to administer justice and ensure public safety.”