Mandatory minimums have long been a controversial topic in regard to the United States criminal justice system. Many people who are little to no threat to the public have received long and harsh sentences because of the mandatory minimums. The purpose of these laws was to help prevent future crime, deter people from drug use, and give violent offenders longer sentences. These legislative changes have caused the lengthening of sentences, truth in sentencing laws, and three-strike laws. Mandatory minimums require convicts to serve a minimum amount of time for certain crimes or because of their recidivism. However, most mandatory minimum sentences are given to low non-violent drug offenders, this being one of the main contributors to the United …show more content…
This would lead to the creation of the Comprehensive Crime Control Act in 1984. This is a bill that covers things such as bail, sentencing, insanity defense, drug offenses, forfeiture of assets, and other things involving the criminal justice system.2 The Sentencing Reform Act, which is a part of the Comprehensive Crime Control Act, would take power from judges to sentence a guilty person based on the case's stature and enforce mandatory minimum sentences.3 The purpose of the Sentencing Reform Act was to eliminate unwarranted disparities and increase uniformity in the sentencing system so that no …show more content…
With these crimes being so heavily criminalized and the mandatory minimums set with them, it creates a cycle of people in these communities having to deal with the criminal justice system for long periods of time. A simple charge of possession can be a minimum of a year in federal prison. A perfect example of these mandatory laws for drug offenses is New York’s Rockefeller Drug Law, which would mandate judges to give longer sentences to people convicted of drug
Due to the fact that drug courts are working to reduce crime, the policies and practices of the US government may have to be changed or strengthened in favor of drug courts. For example, in the Journal Do Drug Courts Work? Getting Inside the Drug Court Black Box (Goldkamp, White, Robinson, 2001), the authors say “Nevertheless, these findings also suggest that variation in drug court out comes may be explained by changes in the operation of the drug court and its ability to deliver the treatment and deterrent effects postulated by the collection of components inside the drug court black box”. This clearly shows that in order for drug courts to work and grow in numbers, changes in policies and procedures that are shown to reduce crime need to be implemented everywhere. Weaknesses that can be found in this summary are that all active drug courts in the US did not respond, which could lead to a very different outcome involving the effectiveness of drug courts as a
Punishment or Treatment The Globalization of US Drug Enforcement written by Matthew R. Pembleton explores the history and evolution of drug enforcement policies in the United States and how these policies have influenced drug enforcement globally. One of the most striking features of drug enforcement policies in the United States is the emphasis on punishment over treatment. The American government has consistently prioritized punitive measures, such as incarceration and criminal prosecution, over treatment and rehabilitation programs. There are lots of reasons for that, but in my opinion, the most important reason is money.
The existence of mandatory minimums are a major issue in the United States today. Since the implementation of Mandatory minimums, the prison population has increased 800%. This massive rise in prisoner population has come with devastating economic and human costs. The death of Len Bias, the moral panic that ensued, and corporate looking to make a profit off of it, have all culminated in the implementation of mandatory minimums. Len Bias was an American college basketball player who had just been recruited to play in the NBA, he died in 1986 due to a heart attack believed to have been caused by cocaine use.
America's Overcrowded Prison Crisis And War On Drugs Involvement. Should we lower mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent offenses?The reason for this is that we should prioritize the space in the prisons for real dangerous people. This question really arose during the forefront of the War on drugs crisis. “The proliferation of mandatory minimum sentences during the height of the War on Drugs” ("The hidden costs of America's war on drugs. "by
Mandatory minimums are court decisions whereas judicial discretion, or the judge’s ability to lower or increase the sentence, is limited by law. With the aim to lower crime rates, certain crimes, especially nonviolent drug crimes, are punished with a minimum number of years in prison. But, in many cases, specifically nonviolent drug offenses, this sort of punishment never reflects the crime. Because the context of the crime must always be considered when sentencing someone, and mandatory minimums throw context right out the window . . . Not only do mandatory minimums undermine justice by preventing judges the power to lower a sentence based on the context of the crime, but they also contribute to America’s rising prison population.
The reason I believe that eliminating mandatory minimum sentences is something that needs to be done is because it is necessary in some cases to let people who are incarcerated or soon to be incarcerated to get out of jail before they were sentenced to get out. Sometimes mandatory sentences target people unfairly like for example minorities or younger individuals. According to Chief Editor African Americans pertaining to drug use suffer more than white Americans do and it is causing unjust between the two races. There was also a case of a woman named Tina who set a building on fire by accident, killing two young boys when she was a young girl and was reprimanded for it and was tried as an adult and sentenced to life, even though she suffered
"With drug trafficking and possession sentences with probation is 5.29%"(US 1). The other 94.71% goes to jail for possession of drugs. They do not need to go to prison, they just need rehab. Also, I am sure that rehab is cheaper than feeding, clothing, and housing. Another issue is we incarcerate more than other countries.
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).
Sentencing Sentencing occurs after a defendant has been convicted of a crime. During the sentencing process, the court issues a punishment that involves a fine, imprisonment, capital punishment, or some other penalty. In some states, juries may be entitled to determine a sentence. However, sentencing in most states and federal courts are issued by a judge. To fully understand the sentencing phase of criminal court proceedings, it is important to examine how sentencing affects the state and federal prison systems, learn the meanings of determinate and indeterminate sentencing, and understand the impact Proposition 57 has had on sentencing in California.
The creation of drug courts has had many positive effects on millions of lives and has helped with keeping certain familiar faces out of court. Though due to are countries fiscal crisis many programs have been cut or expansion has ceased. The criminal justice systems cost roughly 70 billion annual on the corrections system which is because of over reliance on incarceration. Instead of spending so much to increate people the courts could be sending them to reform programs that end
In this paper, I will be explaining what the three strikes law is and its purpose. I will also be explaining why the three strikes law is controversial by defining the defending arguments from the pros and cons sides. I will also use relevant facts and statistics to demonstrate the response from the public in regards to the three strikes law. Lastly I will argue, why we should eliminate the use of the three strikes law due to its injustice to not only the criminals, but also to those of us who are innocent of crimes. The three strikes law was first passed in 1993 by Washington State to keep repeated criminals off the streets along with deterring crime (Clark et al, 1997).
isn’t the only thing people believe needs to change; the reasons for arrests have been criticized by many. America incarcerates more citizens for drug related crimes than any other place in the world. Of the roughly 200,000 in federal prison, 52% are being held for drug crimes and only 8% are for violent crimes, such as: murder, assault, and robbery (Waldman, 2013). Many believe that the “War on Drugs” must become less aggressive because of its large contribution to the prison population. The distribution of prisoners by race has also raised concern among Americans.