“Too many Americans go to too many prisons for far too long, and for no truly good law enforcement reason.” – Eric Holder, U.S. Attorney General
In his address to the American Bar Association’s annual conference in San Francisco, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced the Federal government will no longer pursue mandatory minimums in cases involving certain low-level, non-violent drug offenses.
The change is effective immediately.
He also took on racial disparities in our criminal justice system, prison overcrowding and the unsustainable funding model that exists as a result of incarcerating more of our citizens than any other country in the world.
See CNN’s story about this major development here.
The announcement has brought praise from both the political left and the right. Read this post from Time Magazine about how conservatives and liberals are reacting to this important step toward much needed criminal justice reform.
Holder’s speech came on the same day a Federal judge overturned New York City’s controversial “Stop and Frisk” practices. Read this New York Times piece about how these two distinct and important developments could transform the way our country approaches criminal justice.
You can read the transcript of Holder’s entire speech here.
The Department of Justice has named this new package of criminal justice reforms “Smart on Crime.” You can read the proposal here.