As we have seen with mandatory minimums for drug offenders: mandatory minimums do not work as a deterrent against the crime. Mandatory minimums tie the judges' hands to give a sentence that they feel is more appropriate. Mandatory minimum sentences fill our prisons and cost us an incredible amount of money. It costs about $30,000 a year to keep one person in prison. With this sentencing structure, we would end up paying (at least) $150,000 per prisoner - which is money that I feel could be used for a much better purpose.