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house Bill H.R. 3713

Should Non-Violent Federal Inmates Serve Shorter Sentences?

Argument in favor

People who commit non-violent crimes shouldn't be imprisoned for decades and have their lives disrupted. Mandatory minimum sentences are too harsh, and prevent judges from issuing a sentence that fits the circumstances of the situation.

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02/15/2016
I'm not advocating for out right pardons. Yet, non-violent criminals are not in the same category as violent perpetrators. Prisons produce better criminals, plain and simple.
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Alis's Opinion
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11/02/2015
Contrary to current policy, we cannot incarcerate all Americans with brown skin or all Americans who are not wealthy. Aside from the huge waste of money, it makes no sense to continue a system that creates a permanent prison class complete with a revolving door. If we invested the money in being certain people had what they needed to live in society once they had been in prison & took a vacation from demonizing people who make mistakes, perhaps we could rebuild the U.S. that has been destroyed by the advent of the disintegration of the Republican party. (I'm old so I long for the days of Eisenhower--when being conservative wasn't being anti-human and/or a candidate for psychiatric medication.)
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Patricia-A-W's Opinion
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02/12/2016
We need to abolish mandatory minimums as a whole.
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Argument opposed

While non-violent drug crimes don't directly harm others, they promote anti-social behavior that destroys families and ruins lives through harmful substances. Mandatory minimum sentences are a harsh deterrent for would-be criminals.

BTSundra's Opinion
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11/23/2015
You probably shouldn't decide to be a criminal if you don't want jail time, no matter how severe of a criminal you are.
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Relmaster's Opinion
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05/15/2016
While non-violent drug crimes don't directly harm others, they promote anti-social behavior that destroys families and ruins lives through harmful substances. Mandatory minimum sentences are a harsh deterrent for would-be criminals.
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Ron's Opinion
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03/27/2016
The only prevention to crime is the consequences assigned to the crime.
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    I'm not advocating for out right pardons. Yet, non-violent criminals are not in the same category as violent perpetrators. Prisons produce better criminals, plain and simple.
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    Contrary to current policy, we cannot incarcerate all Americans with brown skin or all Americans who are not wealthy. Aside from the huge waste of money, it makes no sense to continue a system that creates a permanent prison class complete with a revolving door. If we invested the money in being certain people had what they needed to live in society once they had been in prison & took a vacation from demonizing people who make mistakes, perhaps we could rebuild the U.S. that has been destroyed by the advent of the disintegration of the Republican party. (I'm old so I long for the days of Eisenhower--when being conservative wasn't being anti-human and/or a candidate for psychiatric medication.)
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    We need to abolish mandatory minimums as a whole.
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    We need to make the prison population smaller, and that will require the United States to give non-violent criminals shorter sentences. It's insane that there are marijuana smokers that are serving life sentences for the matter, since it's their third offense, beyond ridiculous. The United States has the highest prison population out of any other country, and that shouldn't be the case.
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    Biggest insult to taxpayers- the cost to house crimes like marjuiana (this should be legal if it's medical in 42 states it certainly shouldn't be a Shecdule I we look like a hypocritical nation riddle with confusion within our own government drugs ) If its 33K a year jail vs 3K a year home confinement then explain why we ARENT pushing for sentence reduction or release to home confiment? At a minimum the DEA to re-schedule drugs like marjuiana... considering 30% of federal inmates carry 41-141 month sentences for marajuana charges alone... that means $33,000 a year we tax payers pay for each & everyone of those inmates 100's 1000's of inmates....... Do the math .. REALLY it's a joke and insulting, at least to me, a law abiding HUGE tax paying citizen who knows no one personally in any BOP facility ... The men or woman in federal prisons, there sentences are causing financial havoc on the families they leave behind, only to find themselves with 4-5 hrs free time to be laying around in these camps or facilites ... no education programs promoted or offered (wait astrology was oneI recall) yes they work, ONLY doing jobs AT GOVERNMENT facilities.. like cutting federal lawns or building homes for federal employees (true, I know, I personally have close dealings with Ft Dix & Lewisburg never an inmate always a consultant) granted each facility chooses to operate how they want to COMPLETELY turning their noses up to BOP policy basically mocking "policies" and "bills" we as tax payers PAID for .... I still watched as inmates had hrs of free time to talk on cells or facilitate softball teams, team playoffs & all...... and all while the families they left feel the pain, breakdown, children needing counseling, needing money, only to go on wealth fare etc... In the end we pay for these families for food stamps, mental health needed almost all financial aide etc .. so please the BOP clearly knows what safety valves are needed to ensure our (the public) safety.... problem is they also know MOST would lose their jobs or homes , homes they live in at 500.00 a month a 3bdr home on campus & fixed sometimes even built by inmates (Jesus come fix my home no? I'm paying you to be a federal inmate damn I'd kill for rent costs like that ) - we should feel confident that the ones we elect are wise enough, intelligent enough, to place safety valves in these bills that protect us to the best of their ability - I get there's politicians who's 2nd even 3rd generations work at these facilities, causing push back, out of fear for them losing jobs... but take those positions and family members that are in jeopardy of losing their jobs and train them to be probation officers, train them to run home confinement monitoring facilities (STOP OUTSOURCING THESE JOBS) ..The facilities Ive consulted at only FOCUS on programs they receive FEDERAL FUNDING FOR like RDAP .... hmmm why would any federal facility want to see a bill passed that "shortens sentences? Let alone Grant early releases, or much needed compassionate releases ? WHEN ALL INMATES AT ANY FEDERAL FACILITIES ARE CASH COWS... while we tax payers ARE BEARING THE COWS COSTS ... EVERY bed filled in any RDAP program at ANY federal prison is a income generating source to these facilities .. As I chuckled while reading "from Jailer to Jailed" I was horrified and relieved at the former NYC commissioners truths.. read the book you'll find JUST how jacked up FEDERAL SENTENCES are thing is Im explaining why the 41-141 month sentences are the way they are & why they'll probably never be modified unless of course President obama gets or institutes the " Sentence reform " so I say to those who say "The only prevention to crime is the consequences assigned to the crime." Really? bc in reality the assignment to the crime (medical marajuiana charges like possession or transport with 40-47 months sentences) the cost vs benefit ONLY benefit government not the families of inmate, certainly not their children... and for damn sure not me the non drug using tax paying individual-- those type of inmates let them out with strict supervision... bottom line Cost to Government (we the people ) based on June 16, 2015 advisory 18 U.S.C. 3572 (a) (6) stipulates yearly cost to confine a inmate at $30,621.00 to release a inmate to Supervision at a cost of $3,909.00 ...really do the math? read the facts including on cost , then spend the money you'll save (IF YOUR worried a marajuana user or possessing is so scary ) buy a home alarm talk to your kid about drugs , and as adults notice all those around who use weed recreationally it does nothing I don't use Im just open and aware to others around me like my PHD or my specialist at special surgeries in NYC (again I have a disease that entitles me to weed i chose not to) if nothing else read Bernie keri maybe then you'll see the HORRIFYING effects, cost and all in btw these federal sentences have on US -
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    90% of people in jail are non-violent. We need this to be changed!
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    You probably shouldn't decide to be a criminal if you don't want jail time, no matter how severe of a criminal you are.
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    Being in prison for non-violent offenses can contribute to worse future behavior. Also, our prisons are overcrowded, and it costs taxpayers money to house these non-violent inmates.
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    I'm all for rehabilitation- so long as there is proof that the individual is rehabilitated.
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    YES because we have given FEDERAL JUDGES way to much POWER TO STEP IN AND RUIN PEOPLES LIVES THEY THINK THEY ARE ABOVE THE LAW AND many of them are either paying back FAVORS or are getting paid for favors!! FAILING INNOCENT PEOPLE!!!
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    Prison should produce individuals less likely to go back to prison. The longer one spends in prison the less able they are to deal with the real world. Let's stop having the highest incarcerated population in THE WORLD
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    While non-violent drug crimes don't directly harm others, they promote anti-social behavior that destroys families and ruins lives through harmful substances. Mandatory minimum sentences are a harsh deterrent for would-be criminals.
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    Do the crime do the time
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    But yes, if their death sentence is moved forward. Otherwise, allow sentence to stand as ordered. Let criminals out when they qualify for a walker or wheelchair.
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    Convicted Felons need to be removed from society. to protect society at large. They should serve every day of their sentence. Otherwise, society at large, and Jury Members are making decisions on false information.
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    We need to devote more resources to rehabilitation, rather than incarceration
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    Pls just do the math-Here's an example, I researched this extensively.. A male or female inmate at any federal prison, A first time offender he or she got 5 years for having enough marijuana that got him a sentence of 5 years.. 5 years WE PAY FOR at $33,000.00 a year thats $170,000.00 for those 5 years.. WE as tax payers fund every dime of this first time offenders 5 year sentence Keep in mind marijuania is now medicinal in how many states? 42 states if I recall correctly. Why the DEA won't take that same medicinal drug, marijuana ,out of the SCHEDULE 1 where herioine or meth are housed under is way beyond me ? So now we pay 175K to lock this first time offender away.. .... away from his family, a family that will suffer for another person's mistakes and we as tax payers for sure will additionally pay dearly for b/c lord knows that same family will need to go on wealth fare food stamps etc.... More importantly the young children within the family of a first time offender they suffer... SOLUTION .... HOME CONFINEMENT...... That same offender is MORE then qualified for home confinement at a mere $3000.00 a year, WOW $30,000.00 less then PRISON.. I only suggest this option for low risk inmates , and or the first time offenders- Those more then qualified to be granted home confinement under the point system government has set defining their classification .... We pay enormous salaries for federal employees who qualify and quantify which offenders are low risk and which are medium and high, they do that same offender's intake process, they write up his or her PSI report (earning the salaries WE pay them) etc So Yes it's a a much more acceptable and feasible choice for you & I the tax payer it appears it's just not a good option for prison employees or companies like "The GEO group" companies that run MANY Federal halfway house .Please before deciding Factor in we the tax payer should be able to trust the people that we elected to design the policies that (we paid for and pay federal employees to follow) where designed to protect us from non violent low risk or even 1st time offenders THOSE who shouldn't be allowed on home confinement... Really ??? SOME DISCLOSURES ...I want to disclose I have been suffering with with Rheumatiod arthritis that every medicine offered to date has yet to put me in remission, to date I have had 6 joint surgeries (Knuckles ) replaced or removed, I am a perfect candidate for marijuana I chose not to that path I share this b/c Im not here defending just Marijuana I am simply defending the need to reduce this absolutely ridiculous lengthy federal sentences its gross I a reminded of this fact every time i sign a quarterly income tax check most times well over 10K as a small law abiding citizen it REAKS of political officials paying back or forward to big donators like The Geo Group.. I repeat and reference thy The Geo Group only b/c there's was thy only company who refused to comment on Trump approving the cut back on funding.. come on people pls we're being f'ed over and over let's demand they stop screwing us over
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    The Raegan-era war on drugs has left a disgusting legacy of over-population in prisons. A victimless crime should not have a comparable sentence to violent crimes.
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    Our prison population is way too high and costs too much money. Rehab and work programs will benefit us a lot more than locking people up
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    The only prevention to crime is the consequences assigned to the crime.
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