POLITICS

Bill Clinton: I Support Hillary's Efforts To Change My Criminal Justice Policies

05/06/2015 02:00 pm ET | Updated May 07, 2015

Former President Bill Clinton thinks it's a good thing that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is breaking from his criminal justice policies.

During an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour that aired on Wednesday, the former president said that his tough crime policies had punished too many people.

"The problem is the way it was written and implemented we have too wide a net. We have too many people in prison. And we wound up spending -- putting so many people in prison that there wasn’t enough money left to educate them, train them for new jobs and increase the chances when they came out that they could live productive lives."

Bill Clinton took a similar position on his policies in an introduction he authored to a book of essays on criminal justice reform last month, saying that his policies went too far.

The comments came after Hillary Clinton said last week that there was something "profoundly wrong" with the American criminal justice system and that she supported reforms that included alternative punishments for low-level offenders as well as drug rehabilitation efforts.

Many observers have noted that Hillary Clinton was railing against a system that Bill Clinton, in part, helped create. His 1994 crime bill included tough sentencing laws that critics argue largely target black and Latino men.

Bill Clinton told Amanpour that he thought his wife was breaking with his criminal justice legacy -- a separation that he supported.

"I strongly support what she's doing and I think any policy that was adopted when I was president, any federal law that contributed to it needs to be changed," he said.

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