Skip to main content
Publications

The Impact of Mandatory Minimum Penalties in Federal Sentencing

September 22, 2010
This article published in Judicature examines two issues regarding mandatory sentencing: First, what effect have federal mandatory minimum penalties had on public safety? And second, to what extent have these penalties exacerbated existing racial disparities within the criminal justice system?

The U. S. Sentencing Commission’s examination of the effects of mandatory sentencing is very timely and will be of great benefit to both policymakers and practitioners.

While the Commission’s 1991 report on these issues was quite valuable, much has changed in the interim and there is now more than two decades of experience with these penalties. In addition, congressional action regarding cocaine sentencing issues and Senator Webb’s proposed commission to study the criminal justice system indicate that sentencing issues are now in a period of reexamination, and so the field will benefit from a comprehensive assessment of current policies.

In this article published in Judicature, Marc Mauer examines two issues regarding mandatory sentencing: First, what effect have federal mandatory minimum penalties had on public safety? And second, to what extent have these penalties exacerbated existing racial disparities within the criminal justice system?

To read the article, download the PDF below.

 
Related Posts
news
Race & Justice News: “Misogynoir” Against Black Female Prosecutors
March 27, 2020

Race & Justice News: “Misogynoir” Against Black Female Prosecutors

“Misogynoir” against black female prosecutors, Alabama’s diversion programs confronts racial wealth gap, the struggle to correct a flawed police-use-of-force study, and more in Race & Justice News.
publications
March 24, 2020

Bipartisan Coalition Calls on President Trump to Commute Federal Prison Sentences for Populations Most Vulnerable to COVID-19

Justice reform leaders sent a letter to President Trump urging him to utilize his clemency power to extend compassionate release in federal prisons to elderly people and those with serious health conditions who are exceptionally vulnerable to coronavirus.