AG Holder Calls for Major Criminal Law Reform

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on August 12, 2013

Attorney General Eric Holder Delivers Remarks at the Annual Meeting of the American Bar Association’s House of Delegates, August 12, 2013: “Even as most crime rates decline, we need to examine new law enforcement strategies – and better allocate resources – to keep pace with today’s continuing threats as violence spikes in some of our greatest cities.  As studies show that six in ten American children are exposed to violence at some point in their lives – and nearly one in four college women experience some form of sexual assault by their senior year – we need fresh solutions for assisting victims and empowering survivors.  As the so-called “war on drugs” enters its fifth decade, we need to ask whether it, and the approaches that comprise it, have been truly effective – and build on the Administration’s efforts, led by the Office of National Drug Control Policy, to usher in a new approach.  And with an outsized, unnecessarily large prison population, we need to ensure that incarceration is used to punish, deter, and rehabilitate – not merely to warehouse and forget. Today, a vicious cycle of poverty, criminality, and incarceration traps too many Americans and weakens too many communities.  And many aspects of our criminal justice system may actually exacerbate these problems, rather than alleviate them.”

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