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
new & notable April 21, 2014
Youth who believe they'll live a long time are more likely to take seriously the consequences of committing crime, according to a new stu...
April 18, 2014
Six years after a grant-awarding controversy shook up the federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention little has change...
April 17, 2014
The nation's top cops gather in DC to discuss 'fundamental shift' in thinking about drugs.
April 16, 2014
Have the media and policymakers overblown the latest heroin “epidemic?”
special report April 15, 2014
Locking away mentally ill inmates in solitary was standard practice in SC prisons until a judge ordered major changes. Other states face ...
April 11, 2014
The Juvenile Justice Information Exchange takes an inside look at the often inscrutable OJJDP grant distribution process
special report April 10, 2014
The DOJ’s insistence on state compliance with 288 regulatory standards keeps the program’s implementation in limbo, say critics