What sort of criminal is the target of most federal prosecutions? Mobsters? Bank robbers? No: illegal immigrants. And where do they go? To private prisons, for whom America’s immigration system is a giant profit center.
In the first four months of 2014, the NYPD under Mayor de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bratton arrested an average of 80 people a day for possessing small amounts of marijuana.
The head of the Drug Enforcement Administration is refusing to support a bill backed by the Obama administration that would modify mandatory minimum sentences for federal drug crimes, putting her at odds with her boss, Attorney General Holder. He hopes to make the bill, the “Smarter Sentencing Act” a centerpiece of his legacy.
New York’s new Democratic mayor Bill de Blasio ran a significant portion of his election campaign on his promise to end the racialized policing practices of his predecessor, Michael Bloomberg.
When the Obama administration released its 2013 Drug Control Strategy recently, drug czar Gil Kerlikowske called it a “21st century” approach to drug policy. “It should be a public health issue, not just a criminal justice issue,” he said.
WASHINGTON — The Justice Department is formally backing a proposal being considered by the U.S. Sentencing Commission that would shorten the amount of time that federal drug offenders currently behind bars would have to spend in prison.
Over the last four decades, the United States has undertaken a national project of over criminalization that has put more than two million people behind bars at any given time, and brought the U.S. incarceration rate far beyond that of any other nation in the world.