Bill Clinton concedes role in mass incarceration

CNN has the video Bill Clinton concedes role in mass incarceration.

In listening to the justification that statistics show that a small number of criminals are responsible for a large number of crimes, does Bill Clinton show the tiniest understanding that many of the repeat offenses committed by these “criminals” are manufactured by the police? Like Sandra Bland’s great crime of not signalling a right turn, once you have been caught for doing something, you are forever targeted for anything else you might do that most people would never get charged for.

Think about the quote from a previous post Bad Science: Quacks, Hacks, and Big Pharma Flacks. The word “this” in the quote below could be equally well applied to the statistics that Clinton uses to justify why he thought at the time that mass incarceration was a good idea.

This breaks a cardinal rule of any research involving statistics: you cannot find your hypothesis in your results. … If your hypothesis comes from analyzing the data, then there is no sense in analyzing the same data again to confirm it.

Now you are ready to watch the following video and fully appreciate it.

None of the candidates can take great comfort from what Dr. Watkins says here. There is a temptation to feel that at least the other candidate is worse than you are on this issue, but nobody should be satisfied to be just the lesser of two evils. I suppose this also does not let us supporters of these candidates off the hook either.

The only thing to take away from this is to listen and learn, and then try to do something about it. Dr. Watkins has some suggestions. Maybe a candidate can pick up and run with some of them.

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