Letter: Sentencing laws need to be reformed

To the editor:

In the Friends’ Committee on National Legislation Newsletter, I read the following, titled “End Mass Incarceration.”

“The U.S. has 5 percent of the world’s population and 25 percent of the world’s prisoners. Our prison population has grown 500 percent in the last 30 years, mostly because of changes in state and federal sentencing laws, rather than increases in crimes. The burden of these sentences falls mostly on people of color. One in three black men will be incarcerated at some point in their life.

This system of mass incarceration is unfair and unjust. It is also expensive. The prison system consumes nearly a fourth of the Department of Justice’s entire budget. Taxpayers are footing the bill and communities suffer from the loss of too many of their members.

Bipartisan support for change is growing. By supporting efforts and such as the sentencing reform and corrections act, our leaders can take steps to reduce mandatory minimum senescence and reduce the number of people in federal prison.”

For this reason, I support legislation to reform sentencing laws and reduce mandatory minimum sentences.

Carolyn Hood