Sanders on ‘Substantially’ Reducing the Prison Population: ‘Invest in Our Kids, Jobs and Education, Not Jails and Incarceration’

Tuesday on CNN’s “New Day,” Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) discussed his plan to lower America’s prison population.

Sanders told co-host Chris Cuomo that the estimated 2.2 million prison population was too high and the way to lower that was by offering more education, both as a preventive measure and as a rehabilitation measure.

“In terms of our prison population, we have 2.2 million people in jails,” Sanders said. “More than any other country on earth – disproportionately African-Americans, Latino and Native Americans. It is an absolute disgrace. And I’m going to invest in our kids, jobs and education, not jails and incarceration. Now here is one area amazingly enough where conservatives agree with progressives. They understand that it makes more sense to send our kids to college than to send them to jail because it is less expensive to do so. So I believe not only in terms of federal prisons, but in terms of state prisons we in fact can work together to make sure that a) people do not go into jail because they’re going to be in school or in jobs and b) get those people who are in jail who can get out under strong release programs out of jail and I think we can substantially reduce the prison population.”

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