People were being sent to jail, even for minor crimes, much longer than necessary. Pell Grants for postsecondary education were no longer accessible to inmates. 60 new death penalty offenses were also created.
Why the Bill Was Signed
“When I took office, we had had a roaring decade of rising crime. We had gang warfare on the streets. We had little children being shot dead on the streets who were just innocent bystanders standing in the wrong place. We had kids in Los Angeles doing drills in their schools to learn how to drop down and get under their desks because of people just doing random drive-by shootings.”
Yes, the crime rate fell after this bill was in effect. One of the main reasons for this was the $14 billion in assistance given to the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), leading to 100,000 more police officers on the streets.
But now the US prison population has grown to be the largest in the world.
“We have too many people in prison. And we wound up spending — putting so many people in prison that there wasn’t enough money left to educate them, train them for new jobs and increase the chances when they came out that they could live productive lives.”
25% of the World's Prison Population
Rather than establishing rehabilitation programs and helping those dealing with drug addictions and other similar issues, we put them behind bars. What's more ridiculous is the fact that these people are receiving longer sentences than someone who has been convicted of murder.