“For three decades, America got tough on crime.
“Police used aggressive tactics and arrest rates soared. Small-time drug cases clogged the courts. Vigorous gun prosecutions sent young men away from their communities and to faraway prisons for long terms.
“But as crime rates dropped since 2000, enforcement policies changed. Even conservative lawmakers sought to reduce mandatory minimum sentences and to lower prison populations, and law enforcement shifted to new models that emphasized community partnerships over mass arrests.”