Ronald Reagan Made the War on Drugs a Race to Incarcerate
I'm not soft on crime which sorta became popular when the McGovern wing of the Democratic Party came of age in the 1960s and early 70s. There are consequences for hurting innocent people in society as there should be as well as a price to pay like the loss of freedom. The question is what the price should be to pay and having the price fit the crime. For example we do not send shoplifters to prison for life who haven't killed anyone or physically hurt anyone. But we also do not slap them on the hand and tell them not to steal again or else. We come up with a sanction that fits the crime but doesn't harm them indefinitely or put overburden society with the costs of having to take care of them either. We shouldn't be soft on crime but we shouldn't be dumb on crime either. And give out harsh sanctions to people when they hurt people or basically not sanction them at all when they do hurt people. Actions have consequences good or bad but the consequences need to fit the actions. For us to have a functioning society.
Being dumb on crime is simply being too tough or too soft. Like sentencing a shoplifter who isn't an imposing figure physically or otherwise to prison for ten years in a maximum security prison. Would be too tough and just plain dumb. But sentencing a rapist to community service with no time in jail or prison who enjoys raping people. Would be too soft and just plain dumb. You don't slap your kid in the head when they spill their milk but. You don't tell them to stop or don't do it again and leave at that when they beat up their little brother. You tell your kid to be more careful with their milk and clean it up. And you ground your kid for attacking their little bother or something like that so they don't do that again. And these same principles should apply to our criminal justice system as well and that we should treat our. Nonviolent offenders exactly like that people who wouldn't hurt innocent people physically or who wouldn't robb banks or something. But petty thieves as such and not treat them like they are the worst criminals in society.
This whole tough on crime movement of the 1980s and 1990s would've been a good idea had it just been applied to real career criminals. Organize criminals, mobsters, gang bangers criminals like that as it was but the problem with the tough on crime approach. Is that it became a dumb on crime approach when it was applied to everyone especially drug-offenders and other nonviolent offenders. Where people with no previous criminal-records were now looking at ten, fifteen twenty year sentences for being in. Possession of illegal narcotics to use as an example and is a big reason why we have so many people in prison today. A lot of inmates who aren't threats to society.