Trump’s First Step Act has been lauded by everyone from criminal justice reform organizations to Van Jones as an important blow against the carceral state. It’s not — and it does far more harm for the incarcerated than good.
Marie Gottschalk is professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania and the author of Caught: The Prison State and the Lockdown of American Politics.
Fiscal conservatives were never going to bring down the carceral state. A broader fight against social inequality is needed.
Progressive narratives about what’s driving mass incarceration don’t quite add up.