I've been wondering for some time whether the bipartisan movement towards major criminal justice reform would survive first contact with the GOP presidential primary. Or to put it another way, could we get through the 2016 election without politicizing crime (and the associated issues of race and class) the way we have for the last nearly 50 years?
As recently as early this summer, reform advocates remained confident that the GOP field was generally on board with criminal justice reform. They saw that as a huge step forward, and it fostered hope for real reform at the federal level, perhaps even before the election. Then Donald Trump cannonballed into the race and suddenly we're talking about crime like it's 1988 all over again.
Tierney Sneed has some new reporting on the effect Trump is having and what reform advocates from the right and left are grappling with.