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Manhattan Institute

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Sanders’ Criminal-Justice Plan: Wrong in So Many Ways

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Sanders’ Criminal-Justice Plan: Wrong in So Many Ways

National Review Online August 22, 2019
Urban PolicyCrime

It’s based on the false premise that the justice system is draconian and racially oppressive, and it ignores that most prisoners are in state, not federal, prisons.

Earlier this week, Senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders released a fairly comprehensive criminal-justice plan, boldly entitled “Justice and Safety for All.” Criminal-justice reform has been a major theme of the 2020 campaign, and support for large-scale decarceration has emerged as a must-pass ideological litmus test for those seeking the Democratic-party nomination.

While the stated ends of Sanders’s plan (fairness and safer streets) are unobjectionable on their face, a closer look at the means by which he proposes to achieve them should set off  alarms for those of us who care about public safety.

The plan starts from the popular (but ultimately false) premise that the criminal-justice system is draconian and racially oppressive; largely because of this false premise, the plan’s prescriptions are unlikely to do any good.

Continue reading the entire piece here at National Review Online

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Rafael A. Mangual is a fellow and deputy director for legal policy at the Manhattan Institute. Follow him on Twitter here.

Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

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