“Biden, who was the ranking Democrat on the committee from 1981 to 1987, and then chaired it until 1995, continued on this trajectory: shaping many of the laws that would in a sense recreate LEAA and institutionalize a federal drug war. A number of the priorities from the 1982 Biden-Thurmond bill would eventually become law. Biden shaped the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984, which curtailed access to bail; eliminated parole; created a sentencing commission; expanded civil asset forfeiture; and increased funding for states. Biden helped lead the push for the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986, which lengthened sentences for many offenses, created the infamous 100:1 crack versus cocaine sentencing disparity, and provided new funds for the escalating drug war. Eventually, with his co-sponsorship of the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988, his long-sought-after drug czar position was created. These and other laws lengthened sentences at the federal level and contributed to an explosion of federal imprisonment — from 24,000 people locked up in 1980 to almost 216,000 in 2013. In short, these laws increased the likelihood that more people would end up in cages and for longer.”
The cozy relationship with Strom Thurmond should not be over looked, nor the fact that the Biden backed crime crusade became a vehicle for locking up people of color, getting them off the streets so white people would feel more comfortable. He could have been working to find solutions to the societal problems that were the cause of rising crime but those societal problems–a capitalist system in a racist society–actually benefited the system and those who benefitted from it.