I read with great interest the Rev. D. Anthony Everette’s Jan. 20 essay, “Minds meeting on criminal-justice reform.”
I cannot improve on what he has said, but I am very pleased to see that such important legislation, the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act (S. 2123), has been approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee with bipartisan support.
In the midst of all the political negativity and mudslinging, it is very heartening that both parties can work together to eliminate the problems of mass incarceration that affect all of us. The taxpayers are footing the bill to keep non-violent drug offenders locked up for many years, and the costs of the prison system are way too high.
The United States has five times as many people in jail or prison as 30 years ago. Most of the increase is due to changes in sentencing laws, not an increase in crime. Federal prisons hold thousands of people serving long mandatory sentences for non-violent drug-related crimes.
This bill would help reduce lengthy minimum sentences, give judges more discretion in sentencing and lower the population in federal prisons.
I applaud Sen. Rand Paul for being a co-sponsor of this bill, and Sen. Mitch McConnell for supporting its passage.