PHOENIX — The vast majority of criminal suspects in the U.S. will now be punished to the fullest extent of the law, if Attorney General Jeff Sessions gets his way.
Sessions directed federal prosecutors on Friday to pursue the most serious charges and seek the longest prison terms possible against most suspects, ending many of the Obama Administration’s policies.
Caroline Issacs with the American Friends Service Committee, a criminal justice reform group, said there is no legitimate public safety justification for this policy.
“This is an alarming about-face on what was a national consensus and trend across the political spectrum,” Isaacs said.
Even before the Obama-era policies, Isaacs said, there was bipartisan agreement that we can’t incarcerate our way out of problems, like drug addiction.
“And that alternative approaches are not just good cost-saving measures, but also work better at reducing crime,” she said.
Arizona taxpayers pay around $1 billion a year to house just under 48,000 inmates, which is roughly 11 percent of the state’s general fund.
There’s simply no reason for this, said Isaacs.
“Crime rates are at historic lows, [and] there’s broad consensus that the war on drugs has been an absolute failure,” she said.
Isaacs hopes the growing group of federal and local officials across the country who have been joining the push for criminal justice reform, in an attempt to undo the damaging effects of mass incarceration, will hold their ground, despite Sessions’ new policy.
“Because I want to believe that the decisions they make in terms of their policies are based on what actually works,” she said. “And not optics, and not politics and not special interests.”
- 7 common ways to get sued by your employees
- Why it might be time to upgrade your toilet
- Arizona teachers are building a better future by using technology in the classroom
- How to make summer reading fun for the whole family
- How to find relief for chronic joint pain
- Can the NBA Lottery save the Suns?
- Skip Urgent Care: 5 ailments you can treat with telemedicine
- Skin Cancer in Arizona: Stats, facts and new immunotherapy drugs making strides
- Distracted walking injuries end up not so funny
- Scary situations: 5 quick tips before you let a contractor in your home
- Four ways telemedicine is changing the health care industry
- 5 mistakes homeowners make in the spring
- Three rivers run through it: Exploring Arizona's waterways
- Smart home basics: things you need to know to get started
- 5 Surprising things causing back pain
- Arizona agriculture is a $17.1B industry
- Timeline: Arizona's roots in brewing history
- 5 reasons to love the D-backs this season
- Tips for taking your home entertainment experience to the backyard
- Tech-related injuries your parents never experienced
- Workers comp: Signs your co-worker could be a fraud
- Who's the real founder of America's pastime?
- Epidemic rising? What you need to know about Alzheimer's in Arizona
- 5 unforgettable Wooden Award winners
- Family and hard work are keys to success of modern dairy farmers
- Genetic testing could hold answers for colon cancer survival
- Cold beers and baseball: A beer lover's guide to Spring Training
- Telecommuting: 5 tips to make it work for employers and employees
- See how top CFOs feel about economic growth in the Valley
- Migraine myths that keep patients from effective treatments
- Three Arizona state prisons to launch employment program for inmates
- Appeals court rules Arizona prison workers violated inmate’s rights by reading mail
- Arrest warrant issued for ‘Deadliest Catch’ star who missed Arizona court date
- Arizona court reinstates death sentence for 1993 killing
- Tucson man arrested by FBI for allegedly threatening Arizona Rep. Martha McSally