Essay about Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Must Be Eliminated

1059 Words Dec 3rd, 2015 5 Pages
someone is exposed to so much antisocial behavior, it becomes a part their psyche, putting them at a higher risk of offending again (322). Todd Clear, Doctor of Criminal Justice from The University at Albany and Natasha Frost, Doctor in Criminal Justice from the City University of New York, state, “If we are to make headway in reducing mass incarceration, mandatory sentencing must be eliminated, especially for drug crime” (163). Not only are mandatory minimums overly harsh and highly unjust, many of the people affected by these laws are drug user—drug users need treatment, not incarceration.
Drug-related crimes are the leading cause of arrest in America; however, warehousing people in prison for drug addiction does not stop them from using drugs. Blumstein and Beck, in The Punishment Imperative, show that drug offenses are the factor behind over 98% of the prison population growth in the “80’s” (qtd. in Clear and Frost 33). This high rate of arrest was due to some mandatory minimum sentencing legislation being put into place because of the War on Drugs. Laws, in a few states, were put into place in the late “80’s” and they gave first-time offenders five years for as little as 5 grams of illegal drugs and many states followed suit, enacting similar drug laws of their own (Hatter and Smith 74). Although, arresting more people and then sentencing them to unjust lengths of time in prison to deter drug use did not work, the justice system still enforces these inequitable laws.…

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