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senate Bill S. 1917

Do Prison Sentences Need to be Reduced for Drug Felons?

Argument in favor

No one should spend decades in prison for a non-violent offense. Mandatory minimum sentences (especially when they are as harsh as they are now) take away a judge's ability to rule fairly.

Alex's Opinion
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10/18/2017
I work in a jail. We are overcrowded because to many people come in on petty drug chargers. You can’t fix an addiction by putting people in jail.
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Darren's Opinion
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10/18/2017
Drugs are more closely related to mental health issues than crime. I think our focus should be on treatment and addressing the root cause of societal stressors that lead to substance use.
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Lukas's Opinion
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10/18/2017
Putting these people in prison for a long time only increases their chance of failing to find a job and stay out of jail after they are freed, leading to a vicious cycle of incarceration that disproportionately affects people of color, and which costs the government a huge amount of money.
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Argument opposed

Although not violent in the traditional sense of the word, drug offenders bring damaging, life-ending substances into our communities. Harsh penalties act as a deterrent for would-be dealers.

Paul's Opinion
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10/18/2017
They need to be put to work cleaning the roads, building the wall at the border.
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NoHedges's Opinion
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10/18/2017
There is a huge amount of for profit-prison lobbying being done right now. This sounds like a twisted way to ensure bed count. Any legislative action aimed at the prison system is likely going to fall in a similar direction as abortion, healthcare, and the environment. All prison reform legislation needs to go through an independent review panel as soon as possible.
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Janene's Opinion
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10/18/2017
This proposal is too open to interpretation. Drug dealers, manufacturers and smugglers would be let off for lesser sentences. I see the rationale to lighten sentencing for drug addicts and users, but not at the expense of letting the hard core criminal dealers, etc off easy.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
    IntroducedOctober 4th, 2017
    I work in a jail. We are overcrowded because to many people come in on petty drug chargers. You can’t fix an addiction by putting people in jail.
    Like (709)
    Follow
    Share
    They need to be put to work cleaning the roads, building the wall at the border.
    Like (96)
    Follow
    Share
    Drugs are more closely related to mental health issues than crime. I think our focus should be on treatment and addressing the root cause of societal stressors that lead to substance use.
    Like (316)
    Follow
    Share
    Putting these people in prison for a long time only increases their chance of failing to find a job and stay out of jail after they are freed, leading to a vicious cycle of incarceration that disproportionately affects people of color, and which costs the government a huge amount of money.
    Like (223)
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    Share
    Yes. Stop the prison industrial complex. Invest in rehabilitation; more cost effective, more humane. We can be the great society again.
    Like (139)
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    End the drug wars. Just end them. Prohibition didn't work the first time and it hasn't worked the second time. Learn the lesson and move on. Violent offenders should face justice for their violent crimes, but having, using, or dealing in drugs isn't worth locking people in cages for. I'm no drug advocate, and I have no interest in using them or encouraging others to use them, but I am absolutely a freedom advocate.
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    Allow judges to make the sentence based on the crime and help those that made a dumb mistake
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    Because prisons do not focus on rehabilitation, we should not punish addicts. They should be sent to rehabilitation centers instead. But since I understand others wish for the prison sentence to exist, a compromise must be found, within shorter prison sentences and then transfer to rehab.
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    The war on drugs has been a failure. It’s only resulted in overcrowded prisons where we lock people up especially African-Americans for carrying small amounts of marijuana and it hasn’t done anything to reduce drug use. It’s time to end this useless war, give judges the leeway to hand down sentences at their own discretion, and focus on rehabilitation. In long term, there should be many drugs such as marijuana that need to be legalized or decriminalized.
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    Treatment not jail
    Like (33)
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    They need help, and throwing them in prison for excessively long periods at the expense of taxpayers is not help.
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    Reduce sentences for petty drug offenses & rethink cannabis penalties. Sentence people to community service. Close down all use of private prisons.
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    The effectiveness of the correctional system seems to be overall, inadequate. Instead, a focus of punishment and training to become more productive citizens upon release seems more beneficial to the country. Most inmates are a product of a disadvantaged upbringing in the home. Showing inmates an alternative lifestyle that highlights the opportunity this great country offers to law abiding, hardworking, educated citizens would be equally beneficial to inmates and the county.
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    We need more addiction treatment, not more incarceration. Treatment programs for addiction and mental health care should be included in our healthcare plan for a better society.
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    Rehabilitation and addiction programs should be a part of this reform, if they’re not already.
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    Evidence shows longer sentences do not have any effect on reducing crime. All longer sentences do is cost the taxpayer and line the pockets of for-profit prison owners.
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    Save some tax dollars and help people be productive members of society
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    Prisons should be places for people we’re scared of, not mad at.
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    Republican congressman are concerned about our debt except when it relates to building ineffective walls and putting non violent individuals in prison for drug crimes that would be better treated at treatment centers and monitoring systems. Less put repeat criminals and violent criminals ln prison. Our drug problem starts with doctors over prescribing, pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, laws that denying mental health care, recognition that police and judges do not have any education about drugs. Trump’s proposed appointment of incompetent leaders to our judicial and law enforcement agencies put us at our greatest risk
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    There is a huge amount of for profit-prison lobbying being done right now. This sounds like a twisted way to ensure bed count. Any legislative action aimed at the prison system is likely going to fall in a similar direction as abortion, healthcare, and the environment. All prison reform legislation needs to go through an independent review panel as soon as possible.
    Like (6)
    Follow
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