Former Vice President Joe Biden floated a radical change to America’s criminal justice system — ending prison sentences for non-violent crimes — during the Democratic presidential primary debate Thursday night in Houston, Texas.
“Were in a situation now where there are so many people who are in jail that shouldn’t be in jail,” Biden said. “The whole model has to change, we should be talking about rehabilitation, nobody should be in jail for a non-violent crime.”
The veteran Democrat, who has come under fire from other candidates for authoring the controversial 1994 crime bill, made the comment while discussing his position on criminal justice.
Biden proceeded to tout his work releasing more than 36,000 criminal offenders from prison during the Obama administration, saying, “we have to change the whole way we look at” imprisonment.
Since joining the presidential race, Biden has attempted to shed his old law-and-order image to fit in with an increasingly left-leaning Democratic Party. Towards that end, the former vice president has pledged to cut incarceration by more than 50 percent and abandoned his long-held stance in favor of the death penalty.