Early Release for Non Violent Prisoners.
That should be a good thing right? After all it surely is an injustice that many of these folks were incarcerated because of unequal sentencing practices or even for not having enough money for a proper defence.
There is no doubt that the largest part of those unfairly sentenced will belong to visible minorities. Mandatory minimum sentences and unequal sentences for a smaller amount of crack cocaine versus a larger amount powder cocaine also contributed to the differences in sentences face by African Americans. We net also snared a few marijuana users who received long sentences in some states while other states charge people with misdemeanors.
The US. Sentencing Commission voted to retroactively reduce the penalty for crack cocaine to become effective March 3, 2008. Now as we look around the net more and more institution are announcing plans to release non violent offenders early. I'm not going to start listing them here it's easy enough to do a search online to come up with dozens of examples.
Many people are concerned about the effect these releases will have on the crime rates in the communities these ex-offenders will be released to and rightfully so.
I believe the people being released should get a fair chance and that includes some intervention on the part of the system that put them at a disadvantage in the first place.
The very minimum we should expect, is for the government bodies that will be saving substancial sums to take some of that money and place these people in drug rehabilitation
and employment preparation programs at the very least. We should all make as much noise about this situation and create as much pressure as possible on our elected representatives ASAP especially since this is an election year.