In a move that could signal the beginning of the end of the war on drugs, according to criminal justice reform advocates, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced a policy shift on the sentencing of low-level drug offenders.
Speaking in San Francisco at the American Bar Association on Monday, Holder signaled a departure from punishment and warehousing of people to an emphasis on rehabilitation, reentry, prevention, and reform of a broken system. He called for smart crime-fighting techniques, including a “new approach” to drug offenses that would reduce the use of harsh mandatory minimum sentencing.
“It’s clear – as we come together today – that too many Americans go to too many prisons for far too long, and for no truly good law enforcement reason,” Holder noted. “It’s clear, at a basic level, that 20th-century criminal justice solutions are not adequate to overcome our 21st-century challenges. And it is well past time to implement common-sense changes that will foster safer communities from coast to coast.”