Join Me!

Friday, September 8, 2017

The Truth About Justice in America

It is hardly a secret that in this country there are thousands of people who do not have access to the justice system. One of the most egregious displays of sentencing laws is that of mandatory minimums. For those of you who think that mandatory minimum sentencing laws make a positive change in regards to crimes, here are some interesting statistical facts which prove otherwise.

1. One reason that America has the largest prison populations in the world is due to Congress creating mandatory sentencing minimums for drug crimes back in the 1980s. These laws have ballooned the prison population from an estimated 24,000 prisoners to over 214,000 prisoners.

2. For every 31 adults in America, one is either in prison, on probation, or on parole. 

3. If a prisoner is in the Federal prison system, they have no chance of parole. They are required by law to serve a minimum of 85% of their sentences.

4. 95% of all persons convicted of a drug crime, including first-time non-violent offenders, received a prison sentence.

5. 77% of Americans, including those who support groups such as www.gji.org, support the elimination of mandatory minimum sentencing laws used on first-time offenders who have committed non-violent crimes.

6. In an odd reverse display of funding, the United States government has cut funding for state and local law enforcement agencies by nearly half. At the same time, they have increased the funding for Federal prisons by almost 50%. It is things like this which show where the priorities lie.

7. The cost of a single inmate to taxpayers equals almost $84 per day. This is over $30,000 per year. 

8. On an annual basis, United States taxpayers shell out $50 billion in the name of state prisons.

9. When it comes to offenders who are considered low-risk, those who spend the least amount of time in prison actually have a 4% less chance of committing a crime than do those who spend more time in prison.

Hopefully, these facts can help to change the mind of those who consider mandatory minimum sentencing laws as a way to positively affect crime and those who commit it.