I read the distressing news in Friday’s Herald about widespread prison riots. Overcrowding in our prisons and a broken criminal justice system are at the root of the problem.
The good news is there is a bill, co-sponsored by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, that will bring legislative remedy to this desperate and unjust situation.
The Sentencing Reform Act (H.R. 3713) calls for a reduction in certain mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses.
Tens of thousands of inmates are in jail for minor drug offenses that carry minimum sentences that have kept them in prison for years.
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The bill will give judges the discretion they once had to determine more appropriate sentences for drug offenders, many of whom are addicts. It also allows appeals for those serving under the old and unfair sentences.
This remediation is long overdue and the bill’s passage would go a long way to restoring justice in our system.
A policy that hasn’t worked and has resulted in our nation having the most incarcerated people in the world will, at last, be corrected by the democratic process, as should happen.