Tuesday, August 13, 2013

cause the federal penitentaries are too crowded?


AP | With the U.S. facing massive overcrowding in its prisons, Attorney General Eric Holder called Monday for major changes to the nation's criminal justice system that would scale back the use of harsh sentences for certain drug-related crimes.

In remarks to the American Bar Association in San Francisco, Holder said he also favors diverting people convicted of low-level offenses to drug treatment and community service programs and expanding a prison program to allow for release of some elderly, non-violent offenders.

"We need to ensure that incarceration is used to punish, deter and rehabilitate — not merely to convict, warehouse and forget," Holder said.

In one important change, the attorney general said he's altering Justice Department policy so that low-level, non-violent drug offenders with no ties to large-scale organizations, gangs or cartels won't be charged with offenses that impose mandatory minimum sentences.

Mandatory minimum prison sentences, a product of the government's war on drugs that began in the 1980s, limit the discretion of judges to impose shorter prison sentences.

Under the changed policy, the attorney general said defendants will be charged with offenses for which accompanying sentences "are better suited to their individual conduct, rather than excessive prison terms more appropriate for violent criminals or drug kingpins."

1 comments:

makheru bradley said...

Mixed messages from The Perfect Proxy.

“Last month, President Obama quietly did something that should shake every American to the core. Seeking to enforce federal crack cocaine laws that have since been repealed, the Obama administration asked a federal appeals court to ensure that thousands of human beings, mostly poor and mostly black, remain locked in prison – even though everyone agrees that there is no justification for them to be there.”

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/jul/23/us-v-blewett-obama-justice-department-shame