Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Essay

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Mandatory Minimum Sentencing’s Impact on Prisons in America In 1971, President Nixon, enacted the War on Drug campaign, in hope to reduce the amount of illegal drugs being sold. When Ronald Reagan was in office the incarcerated population increased tremendously. The number of people sent to jail for nonviolent charges from 1980 to 1997 increased by about 125 percent. According to Pattie Saris, when it came to sentencing on the drug charges, judges were able to sentence how they felt were appropriate. Which meant there could be numerous cases similar in charges, but the sentencing can vary widely by the type of judge or what district the sentencing took place in. In the 1980s in America, the amount of violent crimes was very high. The high rate of violent crimes was blamed on the increasing drug use. The public felt that the drug trade was a contributor to the violent crimes. They knew that they needed a new approach to stop the war on drugs, which lead to the 1986 Anti-Drug Abuse Act (2015). According to the Drug Alliance Policy, this drug war is still an issue now. In 2013, over 1.5 million people were arrested on…show more content…
According to Mary Price from Families Against Mandatory Minimums (2013), mandatory minimum sentencing is a set sentencing for a certain crime that is set by legislation. Any qualifying conviction that can trigger the mandatory minimum by the offense characteristics and if the person has any prior convictions (p. 1149). It was put in effect in 1986 with the Anti-Drug Abuse Act. Some guidelines for the minimum sentencing can be increased by the quantity, possession of a weapon, criminal past or any violence because of drugs (Saris, 2015). Things like a possession of a weapon should not affect someone’s drug sentencing, the two charges should be separate and have separate sentencing. Sentencing more appropriately for these charges would affect the population in

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