Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

Tag: incarceration

Sep.
13th

PRISON: ‘Three-strikes’ laws have gone too far

Across our country, thousands of people are behind bars serving extraordinarily long terms for a variety of low-level crimes. This is a result of well-intentioned anti-crime laws that have gone wrong.

Mandatory minimum sentencing laws enacted mainly to target drug crimes have become a mosaic of statutes that all but eliminate judicial discretion, mercy, or even common sense.

Early on, there were signs that mandatory minimums – and especially “three-strikes – had gone too far. Proponents had sold the measure by saying it would keep murderers, rapists and child molesters behind bars where they belong. Politicians saw the harsh

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July
1st

VOTING: Grant felons the right to vote

Re: “’The New Jim Crow’ a must-read on injustice in America” (Leonard Pitts Jr. column, 6-27).

This column relates to a prominent issue in Washington state.

In her new book, “The New Jim Crow,” Michelle Alexander shows that the mass incarceration of black men for nonviolent drug offenses is out of all proportion to the number of crimes committed by racial groups. The National Household Surveys on Drug Abuse report similar percentages of blacks and whites as current users of illegal drugs and suggest the same is true for those selling drugs, yet black incarceration rates in Washington state are

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May
11th

PRISONS: U.S. leads the world – in incarceration

It took America 160 years to incarcerate its first million people and then it took just 12 years to incarcerate the second million. By the 1990s, we were averaging one new jail or prison every week.

Today, the United States has the largest prison population in the world and the highest incarceration rate in the world. During the past 25 years, the number of people incarcerated has grown by 274 percent, bringing our total to over 2.3 million. During the same period, those under community supervision grew to a staggering 5.1 million.

Since America is the world’s leading jailer,

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