Holder reasoned: "'Too many Americans go to too many prisons for far too long, and for no truly good law enforcement reason,' Holder told the American Bar Association's House of Delegates in San Francisco. He questioned some assumptions about the criminal justice system's approach to the 'war on drugs,' saying that excessive incarceration has been an 'ineffective and unsustainable' part of it. Although he said the United States should not abandon being tough on crime, Holder embraced steps to address 'shameful' racial disparities in sentencing, the budgetary strains of overpopulated prisons and policies for incarceration that punish and rehabilitate, 'not merely to warehouse and forget.'"
From the New York Times: "In a major shift in criminal justice policy, the Obama administration moved . . . to ease the overcrowding in federal prisons by ordering prosecutors to omit listing quantities of illegal substances in indictments for low-level drug cases, sidestepping federal laws that impose strict mandatory minimum sentences for drug-related offenses."
The Corporate Justice Blog has long reported on the multiple failures associated with the War on Drugs, including the perverse involvement of the private prison industry on the continuing incarceration of American citizens for "no truly good law enforcement reason," but instead to increase profits for executives and shareholders. The private prison corporation regime has for years lobbied for draconian mandatory minimum sentences in order to increase the length of time that low level prisoners would remain incarcerated.