Study on Criminal Sentencing Proposed

Heather News

The January Unit meetings will discuss whether to concur with a proposal from the Washington, D.C., League to create a two-year National study beginning in 2012 on criminal sentencing policy. The proposal will be considered at the National convention in Washington in June.

LWVDC (Washington, D.C.) will sponsor the following proposal for concurrence at Convention 2012 in June:

“Sentencing Policy

(1) The LWVUS believes alternatives to imprisonment should be explored and utilized, taking into consideration the circumstances and nature of the crime.

(2) The LWVUS opposes mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses.”

A study published in December 2011 says up to 41% of young people in the United States have been arrested by age 23 for something other than minor traffic violations. The U.S. is the largest jailer of citizens per capita in the world, with enormous economic and social costs. Much imprisonment is due to harsh mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses. After imprisonment, having a criminal record carries a lifetime of daunting obstacles to succeeding as a productive citizen.

Information about the proposed study can be found here:

Title:  Sentencing Policy

Summary of concurrence:  Alternatives to imprisonment and no mandatory minimum drug sentences.

Name of League position:  LWVDC Criminal Sentencing

Location of League position: