After 15 years of decline, the violent crime rate in America has in the past two years inched upward again, driven by spikes in midsized cities such as Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Minneapolis. This is occurring even as the U.S. continues to set new records in incarceration rates: One in 100 Americans is now behind bars or on parole. In recent years, DNA testing has shown that our criminal justice system is troublingly fallible. Some 218 people have been exonerated in recent years, and we're discovering a new case of wrongful conviction every couple of weeks. The U.S. attorney scandal, the war on drugs and problems with how federal agents use confidential informants have all been in the news of late.
Yet criminal justice policy has thus far been conspicuously absent from the presidential campaign.