Thursday, August 16, 2012

Mandatory Minimum Quote of the Week

We like this comment from Toronto criminal defense lawyer Steven Tress, criticizing new mandatory minimum sentences passed this year in Canada's Safe Streets and Communities Act:

Mandatory minimums are like cutting off the hand of someone who steals. It may deter them in the short term, but if you haven’t addressed the root of why they are stealing in the first place, your streets will not be any safer, which is ironic given the name of the act.”
The statement is true down here in the U.S. of A, too. Giving people harsh, long, expensive mandatory minimum prison terms has never been proven to get at the real causes of crime, scare others away from crime, or rehabilitate prisoners (especially if prisons cost us so much that we can't afford proven-effective prison programs like drug treatment and job training). Like hacking off a limb, mandatory minimums do more harm than good in too many cases.

1 Comment:

Anonymous said...

The war on drugs has been going on for 40+years and is a TOTAL FAILURE. When will we fix this problem??? It does not take a mental giant to realize that most inmates will be released back to society someday and they will be worse off--is that what we want??Lets do the right thing and help these non violent people so we are all better--make it a win-win situation for all. I am angry with Congress, our law makers. They are no better in my mind that most inmates. Do the right thing.