It’s not an accident, and it is directly tied to political defects we have been slow to address.
Voting correlates w race and class: wealthier Whites vote more, poorer ppl of color less; even when White-Black rates are similar, White SHARE much larger.
For Blacks, it is a consequentialist concern abt reducing crime (w all of @jformanjr’s critical nuance).
For Whites, it is more retributivist at best, if not more centrally racist.
And many features of our system—like electing DAs at the county level—directly exacerbate and magnify this defect.
Groups like Color of Change rightly aim to mobilize those voters closest to the problems of excessive punishment.
But little has been done to make broader structural changes.
Because Philadelphia the city IS Philadelphia the county, so there is no ring of White, wealthy conservative suburbs.
And ACLU, Color of Change, and others did aggressive GOTV work in the most-impacted nbhds.
But have to look at supply side too. There are clear, identifiable reasons why good policy is so hard to implement.
And think we’ve had too little work at changing those faulty structures.