Last Sunday The New York Times presented a couple of articles on the 1994 crime bill. The following article on line is similar to an article I read in the print version.
The print version I read was by a member of the House staff which developed the bill for passage. Chronicling both the bill's successes (outcomes) and problems, the author shows how the bill was neither the beginning of mass incarceration in the U.S., nor simply a benign deterrent to crime.
This is very useful information.
The 1994 Crime Bill: Some Background