Romney: ‘We Don’t Have Mass Incarcerations in America’

The Republicans are having lots of fun with Hillary Clinton’s recent comments about the need to end mass incarceration in America and replace it with alternatives that don’t destroy lives, tear families apart and entrench people in poverty and desperation. Mitt Romney is just sputtering incoherently:

In her speech, Clinton argued that “without the mass incarceration that we currently practice, millions fewer people would be in poverty,” before diving into the unemployment rate of formerly incarcerated persons, and the exorbitant costs of state prisons. She called for the United States to “end the era of mass incarceration,” and discussed the failures of mandatory minimum sentences, the need to invest in probation and drug diversion programs, and the impact of high incarceration rates on African American communities in particular.

Yet, during a Fox and Friends segment, Romney attacked Clinton and even denied that mass incarceration is a real problem:

I was concerned that her comments smacked of politicization of the terrible tragedies that are going on there. When she said we’re not going to have mass incarcerations in the future, what is she referring to? We don’t have mass incarcerations in America. Individuals are brought before tribunals, and they have counsel. They’re given certain rights. Are we not going to lock people up who commit crimes?” he asked.

Uh, Mitt. There’s no need to pluralize incarceration. He bizarrely seems to think that by “mass incarceration” she meant that we try people in big groups rather than individually (in fact we do, but it’s through the plea bargaining process that now comprises nearly 95% of all convictions). Is he really that clueless? Of course we have a problem with mass incarceration, we have 25% of all the world’s prison inmates in this country, with only 5% of the world’s population.

And no, we should not be locking up everyone who commits a crime, nor should many of the things we currently lock people up for be crimes at all.

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  • scienceavenger

    We have more people in prison than China. That’s communist, 4x-our-population fucking China. If that doesn’t indicate to you that we are doing ti seriously wrong, I don’t know what would.

  • caseloweraz

    I suppose Romney is going to eschew the use of mass communications in his political speechifyin’.

  • D. C. Sessions

    You have it backwards, scienceavenger. What that proves is that Americans can do more than the Chinese can even with only a quarter of the people. American Exceptionalism for the WIN!!!

    On that same score, Texas manages to execute more people than most other countries combined. They have a long way to go to catch up to us!

  • Mr Ed

    NPR had a story on the effects of segregation and housing policy. One bit really stood out to me, Nixon’s Housing Secretary was George Romney who tried to mitigate some of the damage. Makes me wonder what happened to Mitt, is he a sociopath, has privilege so disconnected him from reality that he can’t empathize or is he just a Zelig.

  • Modusoperandi

    I’m with Romney. We don’t have mass incarceration. I run with the same crowd Romney does, and among the people we know, nobody has even been sentenced to jail. About the worst that happens is our Corporate Parent gets fined, with no admission of wrongdoing. Sometimes, they even delay our bonuses! When is someone going to stand up for us?

    Basically what I’m saying is that we do need Justice Reform, just not in the way the Democrats and the Lower Classes intend.

  • dugglebogey

    We literally have people locked up in jail for failing to pay the fees from the times before where they were locked up and were found not guilty from those crimes.

    That is a reality in this country.

  • Modusoperandi

    dugglebogey “We literally have people locked up in jail for failing to pay the fees from the times before where they were locked up and were found not guilty from those crimes.”

    If you don’t want to do the time, don’t not do the crime!

  • blf

    Romney: “We Don’t Have Mass Incarcerations in America”

    I rather suppose most of the thug party considers this a defect. Strangely, they don’t seem to support the FEMA camps or the upcoming roundup in Texas, albeit most seem to be all for using drones to avoid the expense of trials before executing those icky forrin mooslins.

  • dingojack

    The Seychelles incarcerates 868 per 100000; the US 707 per 100000.

    Woo Hoo!! You’re number two, you’re number two!!!

    Nah, no mass incarceration going on here R Money, nothing to see, move along…

    @@ Dingo


    BTW China 124 or 172 per 100000. Iran 284 per 100000, Iraq 139 per 100000, Syria 60 per 100000 & Russian Federation 470. [Source: International Centre for Prison Studies]

    When unfree shit-holes like these are imprisoning citizens at a rate less than you are, you’ve got an incarceration problem.

    Time for an intervention….

  • gshelley

    He could have avoided confusion if he had said “Clinton used the term ‘mass incarceration”, she got the word wrong, what we have is excessive incarceration with a strong racial bias, so it really isn’t a problem”

  • colnago80

    Re Mr. Ed @ #4

    George Romney was a stand up guy, his son Mitt is a sociopathic asshole.

  • colnago80

    Re dingojack @ #9

    In the case of Syria, considering that 1/2 the population has been displaced by the many sided civil war going on, it’s pretty hard to lock anybody up and keep ’em locked up. By the way, speaking of Syria, here’s an article in which it is alleged that the Islamic extremists are divided into several camps which fight each other when they’re not fighting Hizbollah and the regular Syrian army (or what’s left of it).,7340,L-4654057,00.html

  • Hoosier X

    Mitt thinks we should have MORE people behind bars, preferably on the roof of a station wagon on a long ride to Canada where the only toilet facility is the side of the car.

  • John Pieret

    Is he really that clueless?

    At least 47% of the time.

  • richardelguru


    “The Seychelles incarcerates 868 per 100000”

    Doesn’t that mean that their entire prison population is 781?

  • Raging Bee

    One bit really stood out to me, Nixon’s Housing Secretary was George Romney who tried to mitigate some of the damage. Makes me wonder what happened to Mitt…

    My armchair-psychologist’s guess is this: Mitt, like George W. Bush, saw his sensible moderate dad beaten down and marginalized by bigoted loonies; so he lost respect for his dad, and his dad’s values and example, and decided instead to emulate the men who seemed stronger and more manly than his dad.

  • dingojack

    SLC – If a country in the midst of a civil war, against a brutal dictator who is fond of locking citizens to remain in power, has a lower incarceration rate than you do — you’ve got an incarceration problem. (You make my point, thanks)*

    Richard – Seychelles had an estimated population of 91650 in July 2014. (Google is your friend).

    @@ Dingo


    * Ooh Israel is publishing another WND wannabe — how exciting!

  • dingojack

    Richard — See – this is why you should never read the comments of idiots BEFORE responding to sensible posts, then lump the replies together.

    Approximately 796 prisoners, yes.


  • scienceavenger

    Uh, Mitt. There’s no need to pluralize incarceration.

    He used the spare “s” he took from “sports”.

  • somnus

    So, it seems Mitt’s position is that all the people in prison deserve to be there. How is that better? Because what that amounts to saying is that it’s not the case that American criminal codes are more unjust than those of other nations, but rather that American society produces more criminals than other nations. Either interpretation suggests that there’s something very broken about “the greatest nation in history.”

  • colnago80

    Re dingojack @ #17

    It’s hard to keep ’em locked when you lose control of the slammers and prison guards are being drafted to beef up the depleted ranks.

  • busterggi

    Romney should be grateful that tax cheats are not incarcerated as long as they are wealthy enough.

  • jnorris

    If we didn’t have the excessive incarcerations then the entire militarized police-bribed judges-private prison industrial complex would collapse.

  • sigurd jorsalfar

    To be fair, America wouldn’t have this mass incarceration problem if black people would just do the noble thing and, you know, leave.

  • dingojack

    SLC – in 2010 Syria 58 per 100000 [UN 9th Survey]; US 743 per 100000 [US Bureau of Justice Statistics, 31/12/2009].

    [See here]

    You were saying?


  • colnago80

    Re dingojacki @ #26

    2010, that’s ancient history, we are in to current events. The government of Bashar Assad controls less then 1/2 the country. The ISIL doesn’t generally take prisoners, they just execute most of them shortly after they are captured. Any statistics from Syria, which for all intents and purposes, no longer exists as a nation, are completely unreliable, other then in excess of a quarter million have been killed and in excess of 10 million have been displaced.