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Reduce minimum sentences

paigeb
Posts: 20
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12/30/2014 1:56:00 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
If a person has a limited criminal history of 0 or 1, and got in trouble for a non- violent, simple drug possession, should the minimum sentences be reduced?

I am looking for a little devils advocate here, because I cannot find one reason not to.
Paige
KhaosMage
Posts: 1,475
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12/30/2014 6:33:38 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/30/2014 1:56:00 PM, paigeb wrote:
If a person has a limited criminal history of 0 or 1, and got in trouble for a non- violent, simple drug possession, should the minimum sentences be reduced?

I am looking for a little devils advocate here, because I cannot find one reason not to.

No.
That is why it is called a minimum sentence, and the entire purpose of their existence - to ensure jail time.
Sidewalker
Posts: 3,713
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12/30/2014 10:28:54 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/30/2014 1:56:00 PM, paigeb wrote:
If a person has a limited criminal history of 0 or 1, and got in trouble for a non- violent, simple drug possession, should the minimum sentences be reduced?

I am looking for a little devils advocate here, because I cannot find one reason not to.

I agree, there are a lot of good reason to, and hardly any not to....we have a full blown and unprecedented prison crisis in this country which is mostly resulting from minimum sentences. The primary tactic of the war on drugs was longer minimum sentences and it didn't work.

The US has less than 5% of the world population, and around 25% of the incarcerated people, roughly seven million citizens, almost 3% are under correctional supervision (either incarcerated, probation, or on parole). Our prison population grew 700% since 1970, in the last two decades the crime rate dropped 25% while the prison population exploded, and it's almost all because of the length of sentences associated with a so called "war on drugs" that just hasn't worked. The supply and use of illegal drugs have increased dramatically as we have incarcerated the largest percentage of our citizens in the country's history. It also isn't applied equally, there are huge disparities in race and economic class, African Americans and Latinos overwhelming and disproportionately bear the brunt of mass incarceration.

Half of the prison population is there for drug offenses, one in eight for marijuana, which is legal in some form in 23 states and the District of Columbia, and legal for recreational use in four states.

Overcrowding in our prison system is endangering the lives of inmates and correction officers. The mass incarceration of non-violent drug offenders, especially for lengthy sentences, is destabilizing individuals, families and entire communities and the result is an increase in crime and violence.

We can't afford not to reduce minimum sentences.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater