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
October 9, 2015
A young Pennsylvania man’s story exposes shortcomings in our policies on when to commit mentally ill individuals who are dangers to...
new & notable October 8, 2015
Black men face greater obstacles and harsher penalties than other offenders as they move through the criminal justice system, researchers...
October 7, 2015
Connecticut has passed two key justice reform laws. But the debate isn’t over.
new & notable October 6, 2015
Girls and young women are increasingly ensnared by a juvenile justice system that traumatizes them instead of helping them, according to ...
q & a October 5, 2015
Rodney Roberts was locked up 17 years for a rape he never committed. He’s still looking for justice.
October 2, 2015
Crisis intervention training is now offered to police trainees in one New York State county. It’s already made a difference on the ...
October 1, 2015
Brooklyn’s “Begin Again” initiative is aimed at healing rifts between neighborhoods and authorities.