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How to Lock Up Fewer People

May 23, 2015
Writing in The New York Times, The Sentencing Project's Executive Director Marc Mauer and Georgetown Law professor David Cole outline the steps that must be taken to end mass incarceration and urges Americans to seize an emerging moment for reform.

“When Hillary Rodham Clinton, Ted Cruz, Eric H. Holder Jr., Jeb Bush, George Soros, Marco Rubio and Charles G. Koch all agree that we must end mass incarceration, it is clear that times have changed,” write The Sentencing Project’s Executive Director Marc Mauer and Georgetown Law professor David Cole. “Not long ago, most politicians believed the only tenable stance on crime was to be tougher than the next guy.”

Published in The New York Times Sunday Review, the commentary outlines the steps that must be taken to end mass incarceration and urges Americans to seize an emerging moment for reform.

Today, nearly everyone acknowledges that our criminal justice system needs fixing, and politicians across the spectrum call for reducing prison sentences for low-level drug crimes and other nonviolent offenses. But this consensus glosses over the real challenges to ending mass incarceration. Even if we released everyone imprisoned for drugs tomorrow, the United States would still have 1.7 million people behind bars, and an incarceration rate four times that of many Western European nations.

Mass incarceration can be ended. But that won’t happen unless we confront the true scale of the problem.

Read the full commentary in The New York Times.

 
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