« Evangelical group adds interesting nuance to death penalty stance | Main | "Separation by Bars and Miles: Visitation in state prisons" »

October 21, 2015

Notable new group advocating for sentencing reforms: Law Enforcement Leaders to Reduce Crime and Incarceration

I was intriguing and pleased to receive this press release this morning, titled "130 Top Police Chiefs and Prosecutors Urge End to Mass Incarceration."  The release explains the creation and commitments of a notable new public policy group.  Here are excerpts from the press release (with links and emphasis from original):

Today 130 police chiefs, sheriffs, prosecutors, and attorneys general from all 50 states join together as a surprising new voice calling for the end to unnecessary incarceration in the U.S. while maintaining public safety.

The new group, Law Enforcement Leaders to Reduce Crime and Incarceration, marks an unprecedented partnership among the nation’s top law enforcement leaders to push reforms to reduce incarceration and strengthen public safety.  At a press conference today in Washington, D.C., police chiefs from six of the largest U.S. cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Houston, and New Orleans, will announce their policy agenda, featured in a Statement of Principles.

President Barack Obama will host members of the group at the White House tomorrow, where group leaders will speak on why they believe reducing imprisonment while protecting public safety is a vital national goal....

“As the public servants working every day to keep our citizens safe, we can say from experience that we can bring down both incarceration and crime together,” said Law Enforcement Leaders Co-Chair Garry McCarthy, Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department.  “Good crime control policy does not involve arresting and imprisoning masses of people.  It involves arresting and imprisoning the right people.  Arresting and imprisoning low-level offenders prevents us from focusing resources on violent crime. While some may find it counterintuitive, we know that we can reduce crime and reduce unnecessary arrests and incarceration at the same time.”

Members of the group will work within their departments as well as with policymakers to pursue reforms around four policy priorities:

Increasing alternatives to arrest and prosecution, especially mental health and drug treatment. Policies within police departments and prosecutor offices should divert people with mental health and drug addiction issues away from arrest, prosecution, and imprisonment and instead into proper treatment.

Reducing unnecessary severity of criminal laws by reclassifying some felonies to misdemeanors or removing criminal sanctions, where appropriate.

Reducing or eliminating mandatory minimum laws that require overly harsh, arbitrary sentences for crimes.

Strengthening ties between law enforcement and communities by promoting strategies that keep the public safe, improve community relations, and increase community engagement.

“Our decision to come together reflects the deep commitment among law enforcement’s ranks to end unnecessary, widespread incarceration,” said Law Enforcement Leaders Co-Chair Ronal Serpas, former Superintendent of the New Orleans Police Department.  “As leaders of the law enforcement community, we are committed to building a smarter, stronger, and fairer criminal justice system.  We do not want to see families and communities wrecked by our current system.  Forming this new organization will allow us to engage policymakers and support changes to federal and state laws, as well as practices, to end unnecessary incarceration.”

October 21, 2015 at 10:09 AM | Permalink

Comments

Naturally, officers understand, the higher the crime rate, the more of them are needed, and the higher the pay is required. So crime has been too low recently. The opposite may take place, fewer at lower pay. It is in their economic interest to increase the crime rate. The easiest way to do so is to loose the career and ultra-violent predators. So the support for decarceration.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Oct 21, 2015 1:22:22 PM

Naturally, officers understand, the higher the crime rate, the more of them are needed, and the higher the pay is required. So crime has been too low recently. The opposite may take place, fewer at lower pay. It is in their economic interest to increase the crime rate. The easiest way to do so is to loose the career and ultra-violent predators. So the support for decarceration.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Oct 21, 2015 1:22:22 PM

In light of the previous statement, I'd say it's also an opportune time to weed out the psychologically defective bad apples in the law enforcement ranks too.

Posted by: Rick | Oct 21, 2015 7:46:22 PM

Very Useful Post and Outstanding article to Law Enforcement, Cheers author for your awesome tropic Valuable information.

Posted by: Hayward sex offense lawyers | Oct 22, 2015 2:58:34 AM

Post a comment

In the body of your email, please indicate if you are a professor, student, prosecutor, defense attorney, etc. so I can gain a sense of who is reading my blog. Thank you, DAB