Editorial calls for presidential candidates to go “soft on crime”

The Washington Times has this editorial by Sheila Bedi, titled “Anti-crime policies,” asking the presidential candidates to “avoid the perceived political suicide of being ‘“soft on crime.”’ Here are highlights:

Former President Clinton stood watch over the nation’s largest prison expansion, and the current administration hasn’t changed course. As a result of these policies, the United States, by far, has the highest incarceration rates in the world.

Given these facts, if the presidential candidates are serious about addressing crime, they’ll reverse the trends of the past and rectify historic missteps by investing in practices proven to advance safety and reduce our bloated prison system.

If tough-on-crime polices worked, the United States would have the lowest crime rates in the world. But as criminologists know, it doesn’t work that way. For example, the City of Philadelphia spends nearly $1 billion on public safety — more than half of this budget is spent on policing. The reward is that Philadelphia’s incarceration rates are among the highest in the country. Unfortunately, so are its crime rates. The nearly billion-dollar investment in lock ’em up strategies has not made the streets of Philadelphia safer.