Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

8/13/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Reforms include less use of mandatory sentences for drug-related offenses

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has called for drastic restructuring for the national prison system. "We need to ensure that incarceration is used to punish, deter and rehabilitate - not merely to convict, warehouse and forget," Holder has declared.

'Aggressive enforcement of federal criminal laws is necessary,' U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder says, but 'we cannot simply prosecute or incarcerate our way to becoming a safer nation.'

"Aggressive enforcement of federal criminal laws is necessary," U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder says, but "we cannot simply prosecute or incarcerate our way to becoming a safer nation."

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

8/13/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: U.S. Attorney Eric Holder, prison reforms, non-violent crimes, war on drugs


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "Aggressive enforcement of federal criminal laws is necessary," Holder says, but "we cannot simply prosecute or incarcerate our way to becoming a safer nation.

"Today, a vicious cycle of poverty, criminality and incarceration traps too many Americans and weakens too many communities. However, many aspects of our criminal justice system may actually exacerbate this problem, rather than alleviate it," he said.

Some of the measures proposed by older include scaling back the use of harsh prison sentences for certain drug-related crimes. Holder has also called for the diversion of people convicted of low-level offenses to drug treatment and community service programs. He also wishes to expand programs to allow for release of some elderly, non-violent offenders.

Holder, at a speech at the American Bar Association in San Francisco this week says he is mandating a change to Justice Department policy. The changes will enable low-level, non-violent drug offenders with no ties to large-scale organizations, gangs or cartels will not be charged with offenses that impose mandatory minimum sentences.

Mandatory minimum prison sentences, which are largely the result of the government's war on drugs in the 1980s, limit the power of judges to impose shorter prison terms.

Under the altered policy, Holder says that defendants will instead be charged with offenses for which accompanying sentences "are better suited to their individual conduct, rather than excessive prison terms more appropriate for violent criminals or drug kingpins."

Federal prisons in the U.S. are currently operating at nearly 40 percent above capacity and hold more than 219,000 inmates. Almost half of them are serving time for drug-related crimes. Many of the inmates have substance abuse disorders. Nine million to 10 million prisoners go through local jails each year.

Holder says that 17 states have since directed money away from prison construction and toward programs and services such as treatment and supervision, designed to reduce the problem of repeat offenders.

In Kentucky, legislation has reserved prison beds for the most serious offenders and refocused resources on community supervision. The state, Holder said, is projected to reduce its prison population by more than 3,000 over the next 10 years, saving more than $400 million.

Holder also noted the state of Texas for changes of policy regarding non-violent offenders and changes to parole policies. Holder says that these changes have brought about a reduction in the prison population of more than 5,000 inmates last year. He said similar efforts helped Arkansas reduce its prison population by more than 1,400.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for November 2014
Lonely people:
That all who suffer loneliness may experience the closeness of God and the support of others.
Mentors of seminarians and religious: That young seminarians and religious may have wise and well-formed mentors.



Comments


More Politics & Policy

Obama's war on America continues with secret Thanksgiving regulations dump Watch

Image of President Obama is going to release a new set of regulations over the Thanksgiving holiday, when many Americans are unlike to notice.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Not content to listen to the voice of the American people after the 2014 midterm election, President Obama is set on continuing his power grab, and forcing his will whether Americans like it or not. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The White House is getting ... continue reading


Sen. Graham: Benghazi report misses information and is 'garbage' Watch

Image of Sen. Graham said he will take a 'hard look' at the new report.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has blasted the Benghazi report recently released by the house Intelligence Committee. Graham says the report, released on Friday, is inaccurate, and called it "full of crap." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Saying he thought "the ... continue reading


Seventh terrorist suspect released from Guantanamo in two weeks; Republicans protest Watch

Image of Muhammad al-Zahrani, became the 13th prisoner released this year and the seventh in just two weeks.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Saudi Arabian man has been released from the terrorist holding facility Guantanamo Bay. He was the seventh such suspect in two weeks to have been transferred from the United States to another nation. The practice has created a great hue and cry among Republicans, who ... continue reading


The Immigration Conflagration and the Dangers of a Benevolent Dictator

Image of

By Keith A. Fournier

There is no question that comprehensive immigration reform is needed. Most people acknowledge this as a fact. However, the truth is President Obama could have participated in such reform, and he knows it, by working with the 114th Congress which will soon be sworn ... continue reading


Running out the door, Republicans too busy with Thanksgiving to address laws Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

With Thanksgiving turkeys dancing in their heads, many Republican lawmakers are running out the door in lieu of considering a plethora of new legislation. Republican members have discussed resolutions of disapproval and censure. One unnamed lawmaker was ... continue reading


The TOP 10 list of countries where slavery is most prevalent. DO YOU BENEFIT FROM SLAVERY? You might be shocked! Watch

Image of Poor Haitians are commonly enslaved by wealthier family members.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Last week it was announced that some 36 million people around the world live in slavery, a number that is higher than at any time in history. While most Americans feel that slavery is a distant problem, which has little or no effect on their lives, the sad fact is that ... continue reading


Raking in the dough: Obamacare 'architect' worth millions Watch

Image of Jonathan Gruber has a lucrative connection with the Department of Health and Human Services.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Jonathan Gruber's good fortune would make lots of college students change their majors to economics. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, along with his firm Gruber Microsimulation Model has raked in millions. Gruber's chief function is estimating the ... continue reading


Why have Republicans betrayed us to the most anti-life president in history? Mark Levin has an idea Watch

Image of Mark Levin is a Constitutional scholar and commentator.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Two weeks ago, the American people spoke and sent a message to Obama that we did not approve of his style of leadership. Americans gave control of both the House and Senate to Republicans with a clear mandate to put a stop to the rule of the most anti-life, ... continue reading


Reaping what is sown: No immigration reform hurt Democrats in midterms, former president Clinton says Watch

Image of Speaking in an interview with POLITICO's Mike Allen, Clinton was celebrating the 10-year anniversary weekend of the opening of his presidential library in Little Rock.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A lack of action may have cost President Obama and the Democratic Party big time, former President Bill Clinton says. The Republican victory at midterms earlier this month may have been the result of a lack of action on immigration reform. Clinton says that ... continue reading


'Mook Mafia' said to be heading Hillary Clinton's run for president Watch

Image of Mook is a word used to describe an underling or person with limited intelligence who does as he was told by higher-ups.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As coined in the 1974 Martin Scorsese film, "Mean Streets," "mook" is the term used by Italian Americans used to denote a "loser." In later years, mook became known as a word used to describe an underling or person with limited intelligence who did as he was ... continue reading


All Politics & Policy News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Revelation 14:1-3, 4-5
1 Next in my vision I saw Mount Zion, and standing on ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 24:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
1 [Psalm Of David] To Yahweh belong the earth and all ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:1-4
1 Looking up, he saw rich people putting their ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 24th, 2014 Image

St. Andrew Dung Lac
November 24: Through the missionary efforts of various religious families ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter