According to recent studies by Portland State University, the Sentencing Reform Act of 2015 is absolutely necessary. Many federal and state prisons are operating way beyond their intended capacities, causing the government to spend more money than budgeted. For years, the mandatory sentencing law has placed low-level, non-violent offenders in state and federal prisons. These inmates are serving a minimum of 5 years, even when the cases they’re involved in are non-violent. The same mandatory sentencing law is also causing many African-American offenders to be serving the same 5-year sentence as violent Caucasian offenders and prominent drug dealers.
Fortunately, the Sentencing Reform Act is designed to balance the equation. It will help reduce government spending by around $4 billion within the first 10 years while causing minimum impact on society. Various criminal justice degree holders and experts are even reporting lower risks of releasing low-level offenders than anticipated.
You can find out more about the sentencing reform and its impacts from the What You Need to Know About Sentencing Reform infographic from Portland State University.