Attorney General Eric Holder says prison sentences for many convicted criminals are too long, especially the the mandatory prison terms federal and state governments require judges to impose for certain offenses, reports Politico. "Too many people go to too many prisons for far too long for no good law enforcement reason," Holder said in the prepared text of a speech to Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network in New York. "It is time to ask ourselves some fundamental questions about our criminal justice system. Statutes passed by legislatures that mandate sentences, irrespective of the unique facts of an individual case, too often bear no relation to the conduct at issue, breed disrespect for the system, and are ultimately counterproductive," Holder argued. "It is time to examine our systems and determine what truly works. We need to ensure that incarceration is used to punish, to rehabilitate, and to deter – and not simply to warehouse and forget." The attorney general said he was disturbed by indications that, in the federal justice system, African-American men are receiving longer sentences than white men, citing a "troubling report" from the United States Sentencing Commission in February.
TCR at a Glance
July 31, 2014
A pioneering Oklahoma program suggests early childhood education could steer kids away from trouble later in life
new & notable July 30, 2014
A study in The American Journal of Managed Care finds state regulations of certain antipsychotic drugs are associated with higher rates o...
July 29, 2014
Civil rights groups ask DOJ to investigate San Diego County youth facilities after probe of pepper spray abuses
new & notable July 28, 2014
Most states keep only limited data on juvenile reoffending and some keep none at all, according to a new report by the non-profit Council...
new & notable July 25, 2014
London's court for parents who abuse drugs and alcohol uses specially-trained judges and multi-disciplinary teams, according to a report ...
new & notable July 24, 2014
A National Institute of Justice flyer argues that the certainty of punishment, rather than severity, deters crime
new & notable July 23, 2014
New York, New Jersey and California have outpaced the nation in decarceration and violent crime decline, according The Sentencing Project...