Quote of the Week: Sen. Jim Webb on the Incarceration Crisis

Criminal justice reformers appear to have a new ally on Capitol Hill. According to a transcription provided by the group FedCURE, freshman Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) gave the following response to George Stephanopoulos on the ABC News program This Week when asked if he would consider being a vice presidential candidate on the next Democratic ticket:

"I am still finding my way around the Senate and I'm having a really good time in the Senate. We've -- this is a chance to put a lot of issues on the table. One of the issues which never comes up in campaigns but it's an issue that's tearing this country apart is this whole notion of our criminal justice system, how many people are in our criminal justice system more -- I think we have two million people incarcerated in this country right now and that's an issue that's going to take two or three years to try to get to the bottom of and that's where I want to put my energy."

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Proud of My Senator

Jim Webb is surprising on many levels. He is his own man for sure not beholding to any special interest group. He has an independent / libertarian streak.

As an early supporter of Mr. Webb I can't tell the public enough of how proud I am the he's my Senator. He is going to do the right things, for the right reasons ... for the right people .... the common people who have no voice in the halls of power.

Get behind Senator Webb .... you will be well led.


Jim Webb

At last, a voice of reason--even at the risk of being labeled "soft on crime." How refreshing to know there is someone in congress who is paying attention to the disgraceful, un-American, outrageous rate of incarceration in this country. We can be proud of someone like Jim Webb for focusing on the shameful statistics reflecting that the U.S. is number 1 in the world (including China, Afghanistan, Iran, etc.) for the percentage of our citizens behind bars. As a criminal defense attorney, I see the consequences daily of our misbegotten "war on crime" and "war on drugs" policies (actually a "war on the Constitution")--including loss of voting rights, loss of jobs, loss of family, loss of hope. May fortune shine on this courageous congressman.

Sen. Jim Webb

It's about that one of our paid represenatives brought out something that is of major concern in america. Most or at least some of his constituients would rather just vote on spending federal money to build new prisons in their district so they can pork barrel another project.
This guy deserves a big "Atta Boy" of the month for new senators. Now it will be good to watch and see if he continues his crusade or if some of the others talk him out of persuing why we have so many prisoners in jail
I think we are all know why we have so many, over half are because of this thing we Call"The War On Drugs".

Senator Jim Webb

Senator Webb may be one of the most courageous men in Washington. It's about time! Hope he is not derailed.

And, Senator, it is more than the embarrassing incarceration rates. The problem encompasses the entire criminal justice industrial complex (cjic), starting with the cops on the street through to the repressive parole/probation system. At the root is that cjic is a jobs program for the marginally employable, and a huge waste of resources.


David Dunn's picture

Sen. Webb & incarceration crisis

It's about time someone in the Congress started to address this issue. None of the congressional candidates for president want to address this issue.

The facts are, we cannot continue arresting and incarcerating to deal with addiction. Neither is it in any way an effective means in dealing with hard and soft drug users.

We need to legalize marijuana and decriminalize hard drugs. Rehab centers need to be available for those wanting to break their addiction by being able to get free heroin, cocaine. etc. Counseling, education and job placement help needs to be available to encourage addicts to break their addiction.

Another issue the Congress doesn't want to address is the failure of the $69 billion a year war on drugs. It creates the illicit drug market.

That in turn generates about $500 billion a year in street sales. That money ends up in the hands of terrorists, and is the primary source of funding for terrorists.

Only Governor Bill Richardson (D-NM) has said that he will sign the recently passed New Mexico medical marijuana bill. At least there's a presidential candidate that has his head screwed on right about drug issues.

"The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government."

- Thomas Jefferson

Jim Webb - Still Full of Surprises

I was delighted to see Jim Webb bring up an issue which I never expected to hear him discuss. He's his own man and an independent thinker, not afraid to talk about subjects other people think are taboo or which they think are settled. Go Webb!!

I spoke to Senator Webb about this yesterday

at a pancake breakfast. Not only did he respond enthusiastically, but he is able to recite the brutal facts and statistics of incarceration, especially of young black males in this country, off the top of his head. His mention of this issue was no fluke. He told me that he believes it is as important as the issues of the war and of economic fairness for which he is far better known. He's hoping to get support for hearings on this issue sometime in the near future. He said to me "it's terrible that you can make a mistake when you're 18 years old and have it follow you around for the rest of your life. We have to change that."

Jim Webb

Senator Webb needs all the encouragement we can give him. As a criminal defense attorney for the past 20+ years, I have observed first-hand how the failed "War on Drugs" and "War on Crime," now coupled with the "War on Terror," have resulted in a "War on the Constitution." No surprise that these approaches have also led to the U.S. being the world's leader in the percentage of its citizens being incarcerated, surpassing totalitarian regimes such as Iran, Afghanistan, Russia, China, North Korea, etc. To his credit, Sen. Webb has courageously voiced this concern, in the face of certain retaliation in the form of being chastised as "soft on crime." Our politicians have lost faith among our citizens, largely (in my opinion) due to their misdirected efforts toward re-election, as opposed to what will benefit Americans. Here's to Jim Webb's efforts at finally redirecting legislative measures toward restoring sense in our criminal laws. The Founders would be proud of his efforts.

Web is our man!!!

We people of soouthwestern VA, have and support Sen. Webb with all we are. He is a knowing person with a head for leadership. If only more politicians were as outspoken as him, as far as true concerns of the working folks of this country. Drf policy of the US has been on a downward spiral since it's inception. You can't lock up people who smoke a joint from time to time and bother not another living soul. That is ludicrous at best and plumb down right stupid in the worst case scenario. God Bless Senator Webb and may he make a move towards a better United States of America.
Cut the profit out of drugs and the black market will soon wither and die!

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