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Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Essay

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Words 1442
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Any person who commits a crime has to do the time, even if that time is in jail,

participating in community service, or being confined to specific limits through house arrest.

Sentencing a criminal their time of punishment is reasonable, it’s the amount of time these

convicts are being sentenced under mandatory minimum sentencing that is the root of the

problem. Mandatory minimums have been sparking controversy throughout America for quite

some time. These sentences have been seen as the most outrageous sentencings for nonviolent

criminals. This problem raises a major question: Should criminals charged with nonviolent

crimes be given mandatory minimum sentences?

Mandatory minimum sentences are sentences that require a criminal, convicted …show more content…
The government is blowing through a lot of money each year to punish

these inmates. Punishment is necessary, but is spending so much money is not necessary. Half of

the money being used to house inmates could go to something more productive for society like


building new schools, creating new jobs, funding community projects, anything to keep more

people from entering prisons.

Some people learn their lesson after severe punishment, some people do not. Since

mandatory minimums were used as a strategy to lower the prison populations and crime rates,

was this method effective? According to Naomi Spencer, “Since the late 1970s, the prison

population has increased six fold, and the number of people on probation or parole has also

skyrocketed” (par.7). Instead of eliminating a lot of crime, these sentences have caused a

backwards effect. Spencer asserts, “The crumbling of industry, education, healthcare and drug

rehabilitation programs in America finds its consequences in all the social ills plaguing society’s

poorest layers—unemployment, debt, despair, addiction, homelessness—and gives rise to

domestic disturbances, theft, and property and drug crimes” (par.10). There is no rehab for

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