Law Enforcement Groups Seek to Stop Sentencing Reform | The Fix
facebook twitter RSS
HOT TOPICS: Alcoholism  Addiction  AA  Cocaine  Heroin

Law Enforcement Groups Seek to Stop Sentencing Reform

Despite rare bipartisan support for reducing sentences for drug offenders, a cabal of law enforcement officials are trying to stop Congress from passing common sense laws.

Image: 

Sen. Dick Durbin. Photo via

By Paul Gaita

04/08/14

| Share

Lobbyists for state and local law enforcement groups are actively campaigning to undermine support for a bill that would reform mandatory minimum sentences for individuals convicted of federal drug offenses.

The Smarter Sentencing Act (S. 1410), sponsored by Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL), seeks to reduce the burden of the national prison budget by authorizing federal judges to impose lesser sentences for minor drug offenders whose criminal history category - a ranking system given to defendants based on length of prior sentencing – is no greater than Category 2, the second lowest ranking. The bill will also try to reduce sentencing for crack cocaine possession and trafficking offenses committed before the passage of the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010.

The bill has received rare bipartisan support from both parties, which helped it pass the Senate Judiciary Committee in January 2014, as well as from the ACLU, International Union of Police Associations, and Attorney General Eric Holder. However, a cabal of organizations representing law enforcement groups like the National Sheriffs’ Association, National Narcotic Officers’ Associations Coalition, and Major County Sheriff’s Association, are massing to weaken congressional support for the bill.

These and other opponents believe that the proposal’s softer approach to drug offenders will actually increase prison populations by forcing state and county law enforcement to arrest more individuals. They also believe that the funding problems caused by the massive prison budget could be assumed by state and local governments. These groups have met with a variety of Democratic senators to state their case.

Congressional aides have acknowledged that they have met with representatives for these groups and hope to address their concerns, but also note that the bill was still in the early stages of the legislative process.

Rehabilitation Directories

Most Popular
The Rehab Review
Cliffside Malibu
 
 
 
 
 

The “beach-house-relaxed” Cliffside Malibu claims to provide an oasis for recovering addicts and alcoholics. And that’s just what you'll get—if you’ve got the cash.

Morningside Recovery
 
 
 
 

For a “rehab near the beach” experience that isn’t quite as costly as similar SoCal competitors, head to this Newport Beach treatment facility.

AToN Center
 
 
 
 

Whether you’re interested in the 12 Steps, SMART Recovery, or holistic treatments, this luxurious, appealing and commendable 4.5 star (our system doesn't yet show the 1/2 star) San Diego rehab has a program for you. 

Reflections
 
 
 
 

This exclusive Northern California rehab is all about client choice—as well as golf outings, Buddhist field trips and keeping up with the office.

Capo By The Sea
 
 
 
 

Capo By The Sea offers an executive rehab program complete with medical detox and a focus on dual-diagnosis issues, as well as an outpatient option in an environment that exudes the kind of beach house optimism one would expect from an Orange County recovery outfit.

Journey Malibu
 
 
 
 

Want many of the luxury amenities A-listers have come to expect—including an enormous backyard with a pool and patio, an herb garden, a volleyball net and a spectacular vista of the Santa Monica mountains—with a recovery program to match?

The Ultimate Guide to Rehab
 
 
 
 
 

What you need to know when choosing an addiction treatment center.

the fix tv