Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) wrote an op-ed for Fox News published on Monday that took a look at America’s skyrocketing crime rates and the significant reduction in the incarceration of violent felons and other criminals around the country.
Cotton noted that American state and federal prison populations dropped in 2020 by 15 percent to the lowest level since 1992. In that year, murders shot up by almost 30 percent to the highest rate since 1998. From 2020 through mid-2021, local jail populations dropped by 25 percent.
The total reduction in state and federal prison populations in 2020 came to 214,000. Local jails saw a decrease of 185,000 from the 2019 total. Cotton referred to the reductions of the last two years as the “worst jailbreak in American history.”
He noted that most of the reductions were made in the name of “coronavirus protocols.” As further examples, he cited the release of 1,500 inmates from New York City’s Rikers Island, and Chicago released one-fourth of the prisoners held at its largest jail.
Cotton also provided examples of accused criminals who re-offended committing violent crimes after being released because of the COVID pandemic.
In addition to the pandemic, Cotton said that the decline in prison populations had been prompted by a massive decrease in active prosecutions around the country. New York had a 60 percent drop in new admissions to its prison system in 2020, and California saw a 66 percent decrease. The senator attributed the statistics to the increase in “Soros prosecutors” elected in many Democratic states and cities.
Cotton stated that many crimes should be prosecuted, with last year seeing more than 100,000 Americans falling victim to homicides and fatal drug overdoses.
The senator called first for prosecutors to do their sworn duty actually to prosecute crimes. He said that “recalling, removing, and replacing” every Soros prosecutor in the nation must be a priority. He called on Joe Biden to send additional prosecutors to cities hardest hit by crime, including Chicago, Baltimore, and Philadelphia.
Cotton also said that America needs to build additional prison facilities, using some of the hundreds of billions of dollars left from existing COVID relief allocations. He concluded by saying that his “simple three-word solution” to America’s crime problem is “Lock them up.”