Essay On Mandatory Minimums

Words: 540
Pages: 3

Reforming the criminal justice reform has been a focus of bipartisan support in the United States for decades, and lately the idea has turned into a political reality. The repeal of mandatory minimums has been the major concern of criminal rights activists fighting for change, in order to reduce the overcrowding of prisons and shift focus to rehabilitation of criminal offenders rather than punishment. The American criminal justice system should repeal mandatory minimums for low-level, nonviolent offenders, in an effort to reduce the harmful effects of incarceration in prisons. Mandatory minimums are guidelines that determine the minimum sentence of a criminal offender, ranging anywhere from a small fine to time served in prison. These guidelines often come under examination when applied to small crimes, where they prohibit a judge from giving a criminal offender a lesser sentence for a minor act of wrongdoing. By requiring low-level criminal offenders to serve time in jail rather than going through a rehabilitation program, the criminal justice system is unjustly ruining the lives of Americans who have simply made a mistake. Repealing mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines would allow judges to use their own discretion in determining sentences for low-level criminal offenders who do …show more content…
The United States currently has the highest incarceration rate in the world—755 prisoners per 100,000 citizens (“Criminal-Justice”). This high incarceration rate is leaving more citizens with criminal records that tarnish their reputation and prevent them from contributing society upon release from jail. Another concern with high incarceration rates is the substantial overcrowding problem in jails and prisons. In order to reasonably accommodate all inmates, jails and prisons require more funding via tax dollars, which would be better suited in the community as