The Obama administration has unveiled major changes to the criminal justice system in the United States, highlighted by the dropping of mandatory minimum sentences in drug cases.
BBC has provided the viewpoints through various experts about the changes that are being made to ensure first time non-violent offenders without ties to gangs do not receive mandatory sentencing for drug use.
Essentially what this is saying is that one-time mistakes will no longer ruin the lives of people. I am sure there is someone each and every one of us knows that had a lapse in judgment and got caught with drugs, thus tarnishing their record for the remainder of their lives.
The recent changes to the criminal justice system will now send people convicted of low level offences for drug treatment and community programs instead of prison time.
This is a fair and acceptable piece of legislation that will give good and decent people a second chance after a mistake in their youth or one time lapse in judgment that all humans are capable of making.
However, there is a concern that this change may cause more people to try drugs that otherwise would never consider trying, given the minimal punishment for a first time offense.
It’s a step in the right direction that will have positive effects on many lives moving forward, but the potential long-term affects on increased drug use is yet to been.
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