The Global Alliance… is alarmed by a recent order from Attorney General Jeff Sessions urging prosecutors to file the most serious criminal charges possible, carrying the largest punishments and longest minimum sentences. This approach differs drastically from that of former Attorney General Eric Holder, who supported lesser charges for low-level drug crimes, and that of many states which have begun focusing on rehabilitation and treatment.
The statistics show the failing of the tough-on-crime policies launched in the 1980s and 1990s.
- The recidivism rate of inmates released from prison is over 65%.
- Over 2.2 million Americans are incarcerated, which costs approximately $74 billion per year.
- The growth results from expanded drug law enforcement which made it more likely for an individual to be sentenced to prison and remain there significantly longer than in the past.
- Although incarceration rates have increased considerably over the last 40 years, crime rates have not
- proportionately dropped.