Mandatory minimum sentencing laws, which were introduced about three decades or so ago, allow judges to issue a minimum prison sentence at the discretion of the prosecutor, who determines the charges that are placed against a defendant. These laws, as outlined by the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation (n.d), limit the power of the judges to make a judgment on the punishment that can be given to a defendant. The meaning being that mandatory minimums transfer the power to give sentences from the judges to the prosecutors, a scenario that is worsened by the fact that some prosecutors misuse this power. As such, mandatory minimum sentences should be repealed, particularly for the gun and drug-based offenses.
The mandatory minimum sentencing law provides a judge with a set minimum sentences based on the charges against the defendant. The minimum sentences are usually extremely long sentences. Judges are not able to reduce the charges no matter what the defense’s argument may be. Normally in court, the defense is able to argue for a shorter sentence, but that is not the case for mandatory sentencing laws. All the power of sentencing lies with the prosecutors in these cases. Mandatory minimum sentencing policies were set into action with good intentions, but the law did not turn out as expected. The mandatory minimum sentencing acts were created to provide equality that every offender of the particular crime will serve the same punishment. This ensures that there will be no bias. They were expected to lower crime rates, because people will possibly think twice before committing a crime if the mandatory minimum sentence is five year or if they have been convicted before, they will not want to be incarcerated again for double the time. Judges cannot change the sentence. All the reasons that the mandatory minimum sentencing laws were set into place appear to be good ideas, but they are ineffective. The law has not shown crime reduction. The history of mandatory sentencing in the United states for federal drug crimes had started with the passage of the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984, also known as SRA. Congress had changed sentencing by rejecting the idea or the possibility of
Similarly, other possible drug-related crimes, such as theft, burglary and robbery, are all extremely serious offences which carry severe penalties. However, the imposition of punitive penalties fails to adequately respond to drug-related crime. This is because punitive measures fail to address the complex nature and causes underlying the commission of drug-related offences. It has been found that after release from prison, without accessible, integrated and consistent drug treatment and support such as access to housing and employment, people with substance use issues are at higher risk of re-offending and returning to prison, or dying from a drug overdose.
Introduction Crime, its punishment, and the legislation that decides the way in which they interact has long been a public policy concern that reaches everyone within a given society. It is the function of the judicial system to distribute punishment equitably and following the law. The four traditional goals of punishment, as defined by Connecticut General Assembly (2001), are: “deterrence, incapacitation, retribution, and rehabilitation.” However, how legislature achieves and balances these goals has changed due to the implementation of responses to changing societal influences. Mandatory minimum sentences exemplify this shift.
The current system that incarcerates people over and over is unsustainable and does not lower the crime rate nor encourage prisoner reformation. When non-violent, first time offenders are incarcerated alongside violent repeat offenders, their chance of recidivating can be drastically altered by their experience in prison. Alternative sentencing for non-violent drug offenders could alleviate this problem, but many current laws hinder many possible solutions. Recently lawmakers have made attempts to lower the recidivism rates in America, for example the Second Chance Act helps aid prisoners returning into society after incarceration. The act allows states to appropriate money to communities to help provide services such as education, drug treatment programs, mental health programs, job corps services, and others to aid in offenders returning to society after incarceration (Conyers, 2013).
Over the past 40 years U.S. incarceration has grown at an extraordinary rate, with the United States’ prison population increasing from 320,000 inmates in 1980 to nearly 2.3 million inmates in 2013. The growth in prison population is in part due to society’s shift toward tough on crime policies including determinate sentencing, truth-in-sentencing laws, and mandatory minimums. These tough on crime policies resulted in more individuals committing less serious crimes being sentenced to serve time and longer prison sentences. The 1970s-1980s: The War on Drugs and Changes in Sentencing Policy Incarceration rates did rise above 140 persons imprisoned per 100,000 of the population until the mid 1970s.
Mandatory sentencing began in October 27 1986 Reagan signed a law Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986. Frontline writes that the law allocated funds to new prisons, drug education, and treatment. But its main result was to create mandatory minimum sentences. The harsh sentences on crack cocaine use disproportionately affect African-Americans April 22, 2014.
The role of the government is to keep everyone and everything in line. The government should have a sentencing reform because with the system we have now it 's just making things worse. Some people are being placed in jail because of their color when there are real criminals that are set free when they really did do something wrong like murdering someone. The government should have a sentencing reform because the system now is just making things worse.
Many of the prisoners are incarnated for petty drug charges or unfair sentencing as a consequence the prisons is overpopulated and causes confusion. The Three Strikes and you’re out policy will have the
These laws were initiated in the 1970’s and put into action in the 1980’s. Ronald Reagan made these laws after initiating a war on the production, sale, and usage of illegal drugs. These laws insist on 5 years in prison for the first drug related felony, 10 years for the next felony sentencing, and 25 to life for the third felony. A process known as the three strikes rule. This campaign for the war on drugs has dragged out into current times.
As I mentioned above, since the War on Drugs era, the prison population has increased at an alarming rate. Overcriminalization has most of the responsibility for this problem. Along with the overcrowding of prisons, the obstacle of overcriminalization also brings sentencing reform to the table. It puts citizens that had no criminal intent in their actions and non-violent offenders in prison for unjust lengths of time. Serving
Essentially, the war on drugs has demonstrated to be an exorbitant expense. The federal government in 2002 alone spent $18.822 billion in the form of expenditures such as treatment, prevention, and domestic law enforcement (CSDP, 2007, p. 54). However, given that the drug war has garnered meager results, this investment may be interpreted as a waste of taxpayer dollars. Alternatively, the money that has been allocated to arrest and detain drug offenders may also be a source of contention. CSDP (2007) “Of the 1,846,351 arrests for drug law violations in 2005, 81.7% (1,508,469) were for possession of a controlled substance.
They are also using drug courts to have more effective punishments. The government, administrators, families and individual drug criminals all have different ways to reduce crime with treatment centers and incarceration. Some treat the addiction, or have programs to make low level drug criminals
2 In recent years, mandatory sentencing laws have been introduced in NSW. Alcohol related violence mandatory sentence was introduced by the NSW government On 21 January 2014. This was introduced because of the amount of one-punch hits while intoxicated. Teens such as Thomas Kelly and Daniel Christie have been killed because intoxicated people for no reason hit them.
After being wronged by something that is supposed to protect and prove your innocence and live in fear of it [justice system] and continue to fear it for the rest of their life. In Ronald Cotton’s case he did get compensation for the time he spent but it was not enough to fully get him up and stable in life and to make up for the years he missed and advancements in technology and life. Even after cleared and making an appearance on 60 minutes and Jennifer still refused to accept the fact that he was not the one that ruined her life after the traumatic event she has been through. Life after incarcerated can be stressful for the person convicted and the one accusing because you know deep down you just ruined someone’s life and made them miss many vital years out of their