I respect the views of the members of the study committee who have worked hard over the last 2 years to forge a consensus based on their review of the body of published scholarly research regarding the causes and consequences of the rise of incarceration in the United States. Although I have not personally engaged in academic research, my expertise and views on these matters are based on 30 years as a federal district judge sentencing thousands of individuals, reviewing their presentence reports, and presiding over their sentencing hearings as well as having served for more than 10 years on the United States Sentencing Commission. My views are not meant to represent views of the federal judiciary nor the United States Sentencing Commission.
Based on my experience I have concerns about certain research findings, statements and conclusions in the report. My experience leads me to question statements and conclusions regarding the effect of incarceration rates on crime prevention (e.g., Chapter 13, p. 339, lines 29-31, which also appear in other parts of the report) and the underlying causes of high incarceration rates. My experience leads me to place less emphasis on racial and political factors as causes of the increase of incarceration rates (e.g., Chapter 4, p. 108, lines 29-32; p. 113, lines 33-36; p. 115, lines 21-34; p. 116, lines 1-9; p. 120, lines 18-25, which also appear in other parts of the report) and more emphasis on high crime rates and socioeconomic factors such as school dropout rates as factors contributing to policies that