In an interview with CNN International’s Christiane Amanpour, former President Bill Clinton admitted that the tough-on-crime policies he put into place in the ’90s led to over-incarceration, and that he supports his wife and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s efforts to overturn them. (VIDEO: MSNBC Host: Bill Clinton Was ‘Defensive,’ ‘Lashing Out’ In NBC Interview)
In 1994, Clinton signed the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, which increased sentencing minimums for a wide variety of crimes. “The problem is the way it was written and implemented is we cast too wide a net and we had too many people in prison,” he told Amanpour. “And we wound up… 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 so they could live productive lives.”
Clinton still managed to blame Republicans, saying they were the ones who pushed the “three-strikes rule” enshrined in the law. “But I wanted to pass a bill and so I did go along with it,” he admitted.
“I mean, going from conservative Republicans to liberal Democrats and the people in between saying there’s too many people in jail and we’re not doing enough to rehabilitate the ones you could rehabilitate, we’re wasting too much money locking people up who don’t need to be there,” he concluded. (RELATED: Politico’s Mike Allen Apologized To Bill Clinton For Asking Tough Questions)
Bill’s admission coincidentally coincides with Hillary’s expressed interest in criminal justice reform. “I strongly support what she’s doing and I think any policy that was adopted when I was president, any federal law that contributed to it needs to be changed,” Clinton reportedly said.