Bill Clinton is renouncing the harsh crime bill he signed into law as president and is endorsing Hillary Clinton’s critique of the system it helped create, says The Hill. The measure, passed in 1994, has been criticized by many for helping fuel the explosion in America's prison population. “We have too many people in prison,” the former president told CNN. “And we wound up spending — putting so many people in prison that there wasn't enough money left to educate them, train them for new jobs and increase the chances when they came out that they could live productive lives.”
Clinton reaped electoral benefits from the crime bill when he took a “tough-on-crime” stance in his 1996 reelection campaign. Through the 1990s and into the next decade, however, the crime rate fell while the prison population grew to be the largest in the world. Clinton's change of heart is occurring at the same time his wife looks to make criminal justice reform — and reversing the policies of the 1990s — a key part of her own electoral effort. Bill Clinton told CNN that his wife was right to take on the policies he had supported while in office.