U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, addressing the American Bar Association on Monday, called for getting not only tough but also "smart" on crime, saying that jail is not the entire answer when it comes to law enforcement.
Noting that one of every 100 adults across the country is behind bars -- "the highest incarceration rate in the world" -- Holder said that putting people in prison costs too much economically and socially in a nation where car dealerships are closing, teachers are getting laid off and after-school programs are being cut.
"But in almost all cases, spending on prisons continues to rise," Holder said during a roughly 20-minute speech at the association's annual meeting in Chicago. "This is unsustainable economically."
Holder called for new strategies and tools to fight crime, such as studying what happens to inmates once they leave prison and developing programs based more on their failure or success.