Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Guidelines For The United States

853 Words Aug 13th, 2015 4 Pages
Eventually, the government is going to realize that they are wasting money and putting people’s lives in danger. Overcrowded prisons are a threat to everyone involved. To alleviate the situation, correctional institutions need to downsize inmate populations. I believe one of the main reasons prisons are overcrowded is due to mandatory minimum sentencing. The U.S has very strict sentencing guidelines when it comes to sentencing. According to Hooker and Hirsh, “A felony conviction generally, by law, means a term of mandatory incarceration. An accused faces mandatory sentencing if he/she has any past felony conviction, or if he/she is accused of being a repetitive offender. As to the former, any past conviction counts, no matter how old” (Berlatsky 94-95). Hooker and Hirsh follow this claim up with the perfect example, “As to the latter, one would become a repetitive offender if he were to sell a marijuana cigarette on one day, and repeat that act the next day. All these trigger mandatory sentences at conviction” (Berlatsky 95). This become somewhat of a never ending circle for such a small petty crime. Which brings me to nonviolent drug users.
Some people are serving outrageous sentences (life in prison) just because they had a significant amount of marijuana/cocaine in their possession. Non-violent recreational drug users are rotting in prison for possessing large amounts of a substance, while sex offenders are getting out on parole or probation for “good behavior”. Michael…
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