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P.G. Sittenfeld on Crime

 

 


Mandatory minimum sentencing causes black mass incarceration

The problem of institutional racism is real. It must be addressed. And public officials need to acknowledge that not every problem in our inner cities is related to economics. Take the problem of mass incarceration, for example.

That America has less than 5% of the world's population--but 25% of the world's total prison population--is both shocking and disgraceful. At a time when crime has fallen to historic lows all across the nation, it is outrageous that nearly a third of all black males will spend at least part of their lives in prison.

Over-incarceration does little to reduce crime. But it does a lot to destroy families, burden taxpayers, and increase joblessness. Right now, 1 out of every 28 children has a parent in prison. Taxpayers spend about $80 billion a year to keep them there.

[We should] rethink arbitrary, mandatory minimum sentencing, especially for low-level, non-violent offenses that are more effectively--and more cheaply--handled through probation and diversion programs

Source: 2016 Ohio Senate race: Center of Hope Baptist Church speech , Aug 9, 2015

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