"Take a look at the facts,” Cotton told an audience at the conservative Hudson Institute think tank in Washington, D.C., according to Politico. “First, the claim that too many criminals are being jailed, that there is over-incarceration, ignores an unfortunate fact: for the vast majority of crimes, a perpetrator is never identified or arrested, let alone prosecuted, convicted, and jailed. Law enforcement is able to arrest or identify a likely perpetrator for only 19 percent of property crimes and 47 percent of violent crimes. If anything, we have an under-incarceration problem."
Cotton has spearheaded the effort to derail a bipartisan bill aimed at easing federal sentencing guidelines for non-violent offenders and allowing incarcerated offenders, many of whom were imprisoned on drug charges, to petition for reduced sentences. The bill was crafted by two Republican senators, John Cornyn of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah, and one Democratic senator, Dick Durbin of Illinois.
Cotton on Thursday referred to the legislation as a “criminal-leniency bill” and cautioned that reduced sentences would “allow for the release of violent felons from prison.”