German Lopez, a reporter for Vox, delves into how Trump and Sessions’s “tough on crime” policies play out on the ground. According to Lopez, their anti-crime policies strongly resemble the war on drugs, rather than a push specifically against violent crime. Session's "instruct[ed] federal prosecutors to bring punitive charges that can trigger harsh mandatory minimum prison sentences against even low-level drug offenders, rescinding an Obama administration memo that told federal officials to pull back on these kinds of prosecutions," which he justified by claiming that Obama's policies drove an increase in crime.
However, according to Mark Kleiman, a Professor of Public Policy and Director of the Crime and Justice Initiative at New York University’s Marron Institute, the research is against Sessions:
“We did the experiment. In 1980, we had about 15,000 people behind bars for drug dealing. And now we have about 450,000 people behind bars for drug dealing,” Mark Kleiman, a drug policy expert at the Marron Institute at New York University, previously told me. “And the prices of all major drugs are down dramatically. So if the question is do longer sentences lead to a higher drug price and therefore less drug consumption, the answer is no.”