Hillary Clinton uttered a campaign line on Baltimore which is one of those things that sounds really good. "Without the mass incarceration that we currently practice, millions fewer people would be living in poverty," she said. "It's time to end the era of mass incarceration."
But does it really make any sense? Does It actually address the problem? Not really. A much better case can be made that poverty leads to incarceration than can be made for incarceration causing poverty. Changing sentencing guidelines is not going to do much to correct what ails Baltimore.
The people who were rioting were not prison inmates. They were not ex-cons. They were unemployed and underemployed and they were without hope.
What Baltimore needs is a better economy; a real improvement in the economy, in the form of more jobs. Baltimore needs employment that provides a future for the people who live there, and Clinton is tossing out sound bites about her campaign themes such as “mass incarceration.” Not that I don’t agree with her premise, but are shorter prison sentences going to provide meaningful, remunerative employment for the people of Baltimore?
She reveals the typical political “thinking” which is to simply toss around political sound bites. Asked to comment on the situation in Baltimore, she can do nothing more thoughtful than drag out one of her campaign slogans.