US Attorney General Sessions Declares War on Poor, Black and Brown Communities

"Attorney General Sessions seems to have missed the memo that the War on Drugs is over".

"The Justice Department's shift to prosecuting and incarcerating more offenders, including low-level and drug offenders, is an ineffective way to protect public safety", Law Enforcement Leaders member and former U.S. Attorney for Utah Brett Tolman said in a statement. This policy fully utilizes the tools Congress has given us. In its place, Mr. Sessions commanded federal prosecutors to "charge and pursue the most serious, readily provable offense", a policy that will undoubtedly put some people in prison longer than is just or practical.

Federal inmates represent a sliver of the overall USA prison population of more than 1.5 million, according to Justice Department statistics. But as defense attorney firm Perlmutter & McGuiness points out, simple possession can often induce "intent to distribute" charges regardless of the drug amount involved. Civil rights advocates praised the move for keeping nonviolent drug dealers from getting similar sentences as murderers and rapists.

Ms Chettiar said ignoring prosecutors' discretion and issuing blanket mandatory minimums is "what led to this mess of mass incarceration".

"The policy announced today is not tough on crime". The move, announced in a policy memo sent to US attorneys late on May 10, has been expected from Sessions.

"We will do all that we can to keep you safe and promote public support for honorable officers in your unsafe work", Sessions said.

Summary: Attorney General Sessions has directed prosecutors to follow a new policy that seeks for the maximum sentence for any drug crimes. This is why we are so grateful to have an attorney general who rejects such cynical behavior. He foreshadowed the plan early in his tenure, when he signaled his strong support for the federal government's continued use of private prisons, reversing another Obama directive to phase out their use.

"To be tough on crime we have to be smart on crime", tweeted Sen.

The policy shift is meant to advance public safety and promote respect and consistency for the legal system, Sessions said Friday during public remarks, adding that it is the "the right and moral thing to do".

"This is a disastrous move that will increase the prison population, exacerbate racial disparities in the criminal justice system, and do nothing to reduce drug use or increase public safety", Michael Collins, deputy director at the Drug Policy Alliance, said in a statement emailed to NPR.

The policy change takes place immediately, even though nearly all the USA attorneys across the county are serving in acting roles, following the request for resignation in March of all remaining as holdovers from the Obama administration. "You collect it by the barrel of a gun", Sessions said.

According to the Examiner, Holder mentioned department data showing that because of his Smart on Crime directive, prosecutors have been able to reallocate resources and focus on high-level drug offenders.

"Decades of experience shows we can not arrest and incarcerate our way out of America's drug problem", Brett Tolman, the former USA attorney of Utah, said in a statement.

The changes will likely increase the number of people charged as well as the size of the federal prison population.

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