Citing prison overcrowding and a desire to be "smarter on crime," Holder plans to direct federal prosecutors to not note the amount of drugs certain low-level offenders—those not in gangs, those who are nonviolent—are caught with, thus allowing them to avoid mandatory minimum sentences. This, he said, "breeds disrespect for the system. When applied indiscriminately, they do not serve public safety." Holder said this new plan of attack is a reaction to a host of laws that simply make no sense.
"Too many Americans go to too many prisons for far too long, and for no good law-enforcement reason," said Holder, according to the Guardian. "Although incarceration has a role to play in our justice system, widespread incarceration at the federal, state and local levels is both ineffective and unsustainable."
America, which leads the world in incarcerating its own citizens, has long been known as a place where jails are used to brutalize people rather than help them get better. Holder says it is time for that system to die off: "We need to ensure that incarceration is used to punish, deter and rehabilitate—not merely to convict, warehouse and forget." To that end, Holder is reportedly planning on publicly supporting drug-treatment programs as alternatives to incarceration for America's drug offenders. He is also said to be considering an early release program for elderly inmates whose crimes were nonviolent and who have served most of their sentences.
I think it's high time to end this nonsense.
In 1984, the U.S. began its ongoing experiment with private prisons. Between 1990 and 2009, the inmate population of private prisons grew by 1,664%. Today approximately 130,000 people are incarcerated by for-profit companies. In 2010, annual revenues for two largest companies — Corrections Corporation of America and the GEO Group — were nearly $3 billion.
There are a lot of people making money by locking people up. They're sure to put up a fight.
Recently, the global banking conglomerate HSBC was struck with a $1.9billion (£1.2 billion) fine for its role in a vast international money-laundering scheme, which washed hundreds of millions—if not billions—of dollars in illegal transactions, with Mexican and Colombian cartels among the direct beneficiaries.
Liquid drug money propped up global banking system in 2008
There have been various suggestions since the financial crisis of 2008 that one of the main crutches propping up the international economy during the worst of the fiscal upheaval was black-market drug capital, which amounts to as much as 3.6% of annual global trade and (by virtue of its illegality) is among the most liquid.
Now, questions are being raised regarding the wider role played by the banking system and the governments of various countries in the global network of illegal drug capital. HSBC may have been the public scapegoat, but other banks (such as Wachovia, which has now collapsed) have been implicated in the scandal, and there are signs of deeper corruption pervading the entire system that has yet to be exposed.
Are you suggesting that meth, alone or in combination with other drugs, is not dangerous to anyone except possibly its users?