Politics

Harsher penalties won’t solve nation’s drug problem

From my years of experience in prosecuting criminals, I have learned that high incarceration alone is ineffective at controlling crime — particularly in the war on drugs. After more than 40 years of attempting to use a criminal justice solution to this public health problem, we have already learned that the threat of incarceration — no matter how harsh — does not deter people with a chemical addiction. They need treatment, not handcuffs. Our country is now in the midst of an opioid epidemic. With a record number of Americans dying every year from drug overdoses, we simply cannot afford to repeat the mistakes of our past. -Richard J. Pocker served as U.S. attorney for the district of Nevada under former president George H.W. Bush and is now a member of Law Enforcement Leaders to Reduce Crime and Incarceration and administrative partner at Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP.

With the safety and well-being of our communities at risk, it is time for Congress to intervene. To better target our limited resources, Congress should resurrect the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015. This bipartisan and commonsense bill would recalibrate federal sentencing policy by reducing mandatory minimums for non-violent offenders and grant judges greater discretion when sentencing low-level offenders. If passed, the resources the DOJ has directed its prosecutors to expend on all crimes would more often target dangerous individuals with lengthier punishments. It would save an estimated $722 million from the federal prison budget over about 10 years — resources that could then be redirected toward helping law enforcement fight violent crime on the ground.

Original Article (USA Today):
Harsher penalties won’t solve nation’s drug problem
Artwork Fair Use: Delphi234

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