When people hear that something has “bipartisan support,” they usually assume it’s a sign that it represents common-sense legislation that made all sides happy. The First Step Act, the latest iteration of criminal justice reform, isn’t one of those. It gives many lawmakers, especially those in the mushy middle, a campaign tool they can use to target minority voters.
This is a tactic often used by the left, but even some on the right are embracing it in hopes that it won’t be as bad as some experts believe. They’re betting on enough distance between the signing of the bill and the first instance of avoidable violent crime perpetrated by one of the criminals released under the new law. Their hope is that the “good” that comes from the bill overshadows the negatives and modern day mainstream media is likely to give them the cover they need.
Conservative Review’s Daniel Horowitz posted an article today pointing out the many foibles of this reform bill. It’s likely to pass despite opposition from some on both the far right and far left (for different reasons, obviously), setting the stage for dangerous criminals to be let back out on the streets sooner rather than later.
But it isn’t just the dangers that will be unleashed as a result. There’s a clear fiscal irresponsibility attached to the bill that nobody’s wanting to discuss. We should be accustomed to both Democrats and Republicans failing to safeguard the nation’s financial future, but doing so while simultaneously putting American citizens in danger is a bold new normal.
Here’s a poignant quote from the article:
“More crime, more gangs, more drug traffickers, more strained federal and state law enforcement, and we are all left with the tab for the welfare and increased crime.”
Read the whole thing. It’s worth it:
Even if one believes there are a few individuals here and there who can and should be released early, there is no denying that if you cast such a wide net of early release on such a sizeable portion of the most advanced felons in the country, it is a recipe for a public safety and law enforcement nightmare. As a group of police officer associations, narcotics officers, and federal prosecutors noted in a joint letter to the Senate, it will “have serious consequences upon public safety and the capacity of law enforcement to effectively respond” because the “releases will involve twice as many federal prisoners as those whose sentences were selectively commuted by President Obama throughout the entirety of his presidency.”