Posted On: September 13, 2013 by Marc Neff

Attorney General Proposes Drug Sentencing Reforms

Attorney General Eric Holder has approached the Justice Department with a new initiative called “Smart On Crime.” Mr. Holder is calling for major changes to the nation’s criminal justice system that would hopefully scale back the use of harsh mandatory sentences for certain drug-related crimes. Mandatory minimum prison sentences were initiated in the 1980's during the government’s war on drugs. The result of these mandatory sentences limited the discretion of judges to impose shorter prison sentences and has led to significant prison overcrowding.

Mr. Holder has claimed that the mandatory minimum prison sentences are “ultimately counterproductive” and is hoping that low-level, non-violent drug offenders will not be charged with offenses that require the mandatory minimum sentences. Moreover, he believes that people convicted of low-level offenses should be diverted to diversion programs that would include drug treatment and community service. When formulating these proposals to the Justice Department, Mr. Holder cited several states, including Pennsylvania, for its efforts in investing in being smart on crime and its diversion programs to help relieve the growing prison population.

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Marc Neff are experienced and familiar with the intricate workings of diversion programs in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Attorney Matthew Sedacca, a former District Attorney, worked with these programs as a prosecutor. All persons charged with crimes are entitled to the protections afforded by the United States Constitution. An experienced criminal defense attorney helps to ensure that a defendant’s rights are protected before, during and after a trial. If you have been charged with or convicted of a criminal offense, you should consult with a criminal defense attorney immediately. For a confidential consultation, contact the Law Offices of Marc Neff at (215) 563-9800 or via email at marc@nefflawoffices.com.