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 October 2014
Peace:
That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.



Comments


More Politics & Policy

Why does Obama want doctors overworked and underpaid? Watch

Image of An astounding 25% of all active physicians in America are refusing to participate in Obamacare.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An incredible number of doctors nationwide are refusing to participate in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), President Obama's largest and most decisive act while in the White House. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - More than 214,000 doctors nationwide will not ... continue reading


Democrats are expected to hurt as Republicans sweep through Congress and local legislatures Watch

Image of Republicans are expected to cement their majority in the House of Representatives, while in the Senate they are expected to gain a majority.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The 2014 Midterm election may give Republicans a historic opportunity to take control of a record number of state legislatures across the country, made possible by America's increasing dissatisfaction with President Obama and Democrats-who have been eager to ... continue reading


THE AMERICAN REPUBLIC IS DEAD - The new way politicians take bribes and cut you out of politics Watch

Image of The American Republic has been destroyed after decades of apathy and corruption.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Political corruption in the United States has never been worse. Although members of Congress are not allowed to accept bribes or gifts, they have found a loophole in their own laws they exploit to cash in. Instead of being bought directly, members of Congress, as ... continue reading


Children in world's most affluent countries plunged into poverty after crisis Watch

Image of Budget cuts have had a negative impact on children, particularly in Mediterranean countries, such as Italy, Greece and Portugal.

By Karrie Kehoe, Thomson Reuters Foundation

The global economic crisis has plunged 2.6 million children into poverty in the world's most affluent countries, with children in Ireland, Latvia and Greece among the hardest hit, a new UNICEF report showed. LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Increases in child ... continue reading


Black Democrats turn against Obama in powerful video. It's not the Republicans or the Tea Party -- it's predatory blacks Watch

Image of Blacks are tired of promises and corruption. The problem is black leadership.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Black Chicago activists have criticized Obama and other black leaders, saying that every black community across the country is being used by Democrats. "Folks are in an abusive black leadership relationship," one angry man said in the clip. "My life has been hurt by ... continue reading


Another six states now recognize same-sex marriage after Supreme Court ruling Watch

Image of The U.S. government has recognized same-sex

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The federal government has continued to increase its recognition of same-sex marriage, granting protected status and extending federal benefits to couples in six more states. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Attorney General Eric Holder announced the news on ... continue reading


Pew Research reveals Latinos growing as a group, but political power is low Watch

Image of A Pew Report shows that Latinos are weakly represented in the current midterm.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

When viewed by the numbers, Latinos are becoming an important demographic in American politics. While Latinos have always been an important group in the American cultural tapestry, only recently have their collective numbers risen to make them a substantial political ... continue reading


Will the Bush legacy live on with Jeb? Or will painful memories haunt the family and the GOP? Watch

Image of While many may be wary of another Bush candidacy, it appears the whole Bush clan is behind a Jeb Bush 2016 bid.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The 2014 midterm is right around the corner, but already rumors are rumbling about the roster of potential 2016 presidential candidates. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - While many Republicans want, or have thought highly of, Mitt Romney running for a third time, ... continue reading


Comrade Hillary Clinton astounds - says businesses don't create jobs Watch

Image of Clinton's claim was delivered during a speech for Martha Coakley.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Hillary Clinton has stunned listeners with the amazing proclamation that corporations and businesses don't create jobs. This leaves many Americans to wonder where their jobs came from instead. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - At a rally in Boston, Hillary Clinton ... continue reading


More people than ever before renouncing their United States citizenship Watch

Image of The growing number of renunciations by U.S. citizens and permanent residents is linked to a five-year enforcement campaign against U.S. taxpayers who have undeclared offshore accounts.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

With 776 names on the Treasury Department list published last week for the third quarter of 2014, more people than ever before have renounced their citizenship in the United States. There are substantial numbers of people to renounce their U.S. citizenship or end ... 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, Philippians 1:1-11
1 Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, to all ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 111:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
1 Alleluia! I give thanks to Yahweh with all my ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 14:1-6
1 Now it happened that on a Sabbath day he had gone ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 31st, 2014 Image

St. Wolfgang
October 31: Wolfgang (d. 994) + Bishop and reformer. Born in Swabia, ... 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