After 30 years of being "tough on crime," the US -- with 5% of the world's population -- has 25% of its prisoners, and that's very expensive. Now the crime rate is way down. Conservatives are joining liberals, demanding reduced sentences and alternatives to incarceration. Texas is one of the states where prisons are being shut down. But hard-liners warn that so-called "smart sentencing" will push the crime rate back up again. Eric Holder told the American Bar Association today that America's 30-year crackdown has produced unintended consequences, and called for reform. The Attorney General has support from some unexpected sources, including Grover Norquist, one of the most influential conservatives in Washington. We update the controversy.
Marc Levin, Right on Crime (@MarcALevin)
Scott Burns, National District Attorneys Association
Adam Gelb, Pew Center on the States (@pewstates)
Peniel Joseph, University of Texas at Austin (@PenielJoseph)
Joan Petersilia, Stanford Criminal Justice Center