DOJ reversal on drug prosecutions will fuel mass incarceration, undermine public safety

DOJ reversal on drug prosecutions will fuel mass incarceration, undermine public safety

He cited the country's opioid addiction and rising murder rates in cities such as Chicago and Memphis, Tennessee. Even while in the Senate, Sessions repeatedly asserted that eliminating mandatory minimums weakened the ability of law enforcement to protect the public. They argued prosecutors were getting pickier about the cases they were bringing and were seeking mandatory minimum sentences less often. Long sentences for low-level, non-violent drug offenses do not promote public safety, deterrence, and rehabilitation. He told the Washington Post that "Sessions risks repeating "a vicious cycle of incarceration" at a time when crime rates are low". "Former Attorney General Eric Holder called it an ideologically motivated, cookie cutter approach, stating it ".is not touch on crime.

Udi Ofer, director of the organization's Campaign for Smart Justice, says it sounds a lot like a throwback to the war on drugs. And he said that "good people don't smoke marijuana" while advocating against pot legalization.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered federal prosecutors this week to seek the maximum punishment for drug offenses, in one of the clearest breaks yet from the policies of the Justice Department under the Obama administration. "By definition, the most serious offenses are those that carry the most substantial guidelines sentence, including mandatory minimum sentences".

The policy signaled a return to "enforcing the laws that Congress has passed", Sessions said Friday at the Justice Department, characterizing his memo as unique for the leeway it gave prosecutors around the country.

The AG said his maneuver is simply an attempt to return to a DOJ policy mandated by Congress.

All of those charging factors are now gone under Sessions' reign and not surprising, as he has previously telegraphed his desire to prosecute more federal cases generally.

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Prosecutors and law-enforcement leaders also reacted with dismay to Sessions' memo, including Joyce Vance, the former United States attorney for the Northern District of Alabama. He said the Obama administration embraced that philosophy and many conservative lawmakers, such as Sen. In February, Sessions seemed to prepare for that inevitability, reversing a directive from previous deputy attorney general Sally Yates for the Justice Department to stop using private prisons to house federal inmates.

Beyond that, Obama also granted clemency to more federal convicts - mainly drug offenders - than any president since Harry Truman.

Johnson agreed the war on drug using incarceration as a weapon is not enough.

A series of studies published by economists at Columbia and the University of MI in 2007 found that the threat of longer prison sentences did not deter crime.

This change, announced by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, reverses lighter sentencing rules established under the Obama administration. It's always been expected from the former prosecutor who has made fighting violent crime the Justice Department's priority.

Holder's memo was an early part of this push, emphasizing that the old war on drugs had gone too far in punishing low-level offenders.

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