Decrease Mandatory Minimum Sentencing For Non Violent Offenders
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As Social Work graduate students at California State University Fullerton, we are calling for the Senate to pass the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act. This is a bipartisan bill currently being proposed for review in the U.S. Senate. The bill decreases mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders, eliminates the three-strike policy mandating life sentences, and applies to people currently serving sentences for non-violent drug convictions.
People of color are disproportionately affected by mandatory minimum sentencing laws. A report by the United States Sentencing Commission found that people identifying as Hispanic accounted for 40.4 percent of convictions with a drug-related mandatory minimum, and people identifying as Black accounted for 29.7 percent.
Our current sentencing laws punish those that need help and these laws have shown us that punishing those who use substances does not reduce their use, in fact it often makes it much worse. This not only harms the individual, it harms our communities and our country as a whole. As Social Work students forging a career in the field of human services we have faith that our country can do better. We ask for your support in our endeavor to improve our justice system and ensure that this vital institution serves all of our citizens equally, as equality is a value our society must continuously strive for.
Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act Link: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/1917/text
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