The politics of prison reform

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American politicians made good on the promise to “lock’em up and throw away the key.” That was 40 years ago. But mass incarceration doesn’t reduce crime, and it’s not worth the cost. Now the modest First Step Act, which passed Congress, is stalled in the Senate. Both parties are divided--less about goals than how to achieve them. Meantime, some Red States are moving ahead of Blue Massachusetts on prison reform. Back in Washington, the president is falsely claiming a “rise in crime,” while his cabinet and family members go in different directions.


Glenn Thrush - New York Times - @GlennThrush, Justin George - Washington, D.C., correspondent for The Marshall Project. - @justingeorge, William Brownsberger - Democratic State Senator representing Suffolk and Middlesex counties in Massachusetts. - @WBrownsberger, Ames Grawert - Senior Counsel in the Brennan Center’s Justice Program - @AmesCG

Warren Olney

Andrea Brody