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January 30, 2018

Prez Trump, in his first State of the Union address, mentions "reforming our prisons" and need to "get much tougher on drug dealers"

As had been predicted (see this prior post), President Donald Trump in his very first State of the Union address said that prior reform was on his agenda for the coming year.  But later in this speech, he suggested that he supported an even tougher criminal justice response to our nation's drug problem.  These were both very small parts of a very long speech, and here is the context with key sentences highlighted from this official text

As America regains its strength, this opportunity must be extended to all citizens.  That is why this year we will embark on reforming our prisons to help former inmates who have served their time get a second chance....

In 2016, we lost 64,000 Americans to drug overdoses: 174 deaths per day. Seven per hour.  We must get much tougher on drug dealers and pushers if we are going to succeed in stopping this scourge.  My Administration is committed to fighting the drug epidemic and helping get treatment for those in need. The struggle will be long and difficult — but, as Americans always do, we will prevail.

With these sentences and sentiments, I believe Prez Trump has defined the terms of what is truly possible on the federal criminal justice reform front in 2018. It would seem "back-end" prison reforms to facilitate earlier release from prison for all federal offenders and enhanced reentry efforts are quite possible and may truly be a priority for the Trump Administration; it would also seem that "front-end" sentencing reforms to reduce mandatory minimum terms for drug trafficking offenses many not be possible and may be actively opposed by the Trump Administration. Interesting times.

A few prior recent related posts:

January 30, 2018 at 11:21 PM | Permalink


As I have said several times, NYC liberal. Lots of worthless, quack, make work jobs for registered Democrats, working for government.

Posted by: David Behar | Jan 31, 2018 8:56:12 AM

Clearly, Trump already is more impressive than Obama after eight year. /snark

Posted by: Joe | Jan 31, 2018 10:47:17 AM

Its obvious that Trump and Sessions arent aware of the current penalties fir drug dealing.

But they could make a huge contribution on Opioids if they would shutdown, McKesson and other drug compsnies from shipping the drugs nation wide to be pedaled on the streets. So far both are sadly i formed on the issue. Step 2 is to educate or threThen Drs from dishing out opioid prescrptions like its Valentines day for trivial pains at best.

Step 3, get the Feds to put prosecutotial teeth in fines against these drug companies. Thats what sessions could/should be doing, not going the same make work worthless direction kf imprisoning drug addicts. Thats my story and Im stucking to it.

Posted by: MidWestGuy | Jan 31, 2018 3:07:17 PM

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