Do drug offenders deserve longer prison sentences? | The Tylt

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Do drug offenders deserve longer prison sentences?
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Attorney General Jeff Sessions wants longer sentences for drug offenders. He's ending Obama-era reforms that let judges reduce drug-related sentences, and argues "prosecutors should charge and pursue the most serious, readily provable offense" for drug-related crimes. Critics say mass incarceration has failed—it's costly, devastates communities, and doesn't reduce crime. But Sessions insists we need harsher sentences and says America is too complacent about drugs. What do you think?

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Sessions told listeners at an opioid abuse summit that increasing prison sentences "is a big, critical part" of fighting drug crime and violence. 

"We’re on a bad trend right now. We've got too much complacency about drugs. Too much talk about recreational drugs."
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But Sessions' critics point out that mandatory minimum sentencing has been tried, and is proven a failure. It's exploded our prison population; more than two million Americans live behind bars, a 550 percent increase in the last 40 years. We spend more than $80 billion annually on corrections. The Economist calls America's prison-industrial complex "a moral failure."

There are other tools that can reduce crime more cost-effectively, including promoting employment and wage growth and investing in education. That is one reason that between 2008 and 2012, a majority of states were able to reduce incarceration and crime.
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Sessions' detractors say there is no evidence that longer sentencing makes communities safer or reduces crime. They think he is motivated by his connections to the private prison industry, and say he is indifferent to the racist sentencing policies that have devastated Black communities.

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But many Americans still think we are too soft on crime, and Sessions' boss, President Trump, was definitely elected on a law-and-order platform.

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Former US Attorney General Eric Holder issued a blistering critique of Sessions' initiative.

FINAL RESULTS
Politics
Do drug offenders deserve longer prison sentences?
#CrackDownOnDrugs
A festive crown for the winner
#StopJailingAmericans