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, 2015
It may take years to prove their innocence, but Conviction Integrity Units are increasingly being used around the country by DAs determin...
new & notable July 30, 2015
Despite a spike in 2010 and 2011, white collar prosecutions have steadily dropped since 1994, according to a Syracuse University report
new & notable July 29, 2015
A paper in the National Institute of Justice Journal examines issues surrounding research that involves victims of intimate partner violence
new & notable July 28, 2015
A new study finds that civil legal assistance for victims of domestic violence can have significant economic and social benefits
q & a July 27, 2015
A new book puts a human face on some 1,000 lynching victims—854 of them were African American—and raises contemporary questio...
July 24, 2015
Nearly a third of the state’s 87,756 inmates have mental health issues. Most would be unable to find the care they need elsewhere, ...
July 23, 2015
The death of a San Francisco woman has cast a spotlight on communities who resist ICE detention orders.