The 2016 presidential race has accelerated an evolution from the “tough on crime” rhetoric that used to dominate political debates on criminal justice policy, reports the Associated Press.
Candidates from both parties have taken positions in support of scaling back punitive drug policies, and “the push to rethink sentences for drug offenders is coinciding with the Black Lives Matter movement and its debate about police treatment of minorities, a heroin crisis that’s brought renewed attention to addiction and a homicide spike in some big cities.”
It’s all a big change from a generation or two ago.
“The threat of someone waging a ‘tough on crime’ campaign as their calling card is, I think, very much diminished from what we might have seen 20 years ago,” said Marc Mauer, executive director of the Sentencing Project, which advocates sentencing policy changes.
The “reform movement” has strong enough support, Mauer said, that it would be “difficult for a candidate to try to make hay out of it.”
Read the full article in the Associated Press.