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Criminal Justice Reform Keynote Address


For decades, the mantra for Republicans and Democrats alike had been “tough on crime.” If the sentence for a given drug offense was five years, and yet the problem of drug distribution and use persisted, the response was to increase the penalty to ten years, then fifteen, even life. It was never: Should we imprison at all? Is there any efficacy to imprisonment beyond a few years to deter crime? Is there a category of offenders for which imprisonment and more imprisonment should not be the only response?