Sentencing Reform Starts to Pay Off

Post Date: August 2, 2013

(New York Times Editorial) — The New York Times published this concise editorial about the cost benefits of crack cocaine sentencing reforms following the release of new data from the U.S. Sentencing Commission. Writes the Times: 

“This week, we began to learn that there are no costs, only benefits. According to a preliminary report released by the commission, more than 7,300 federal prisoners have had their sentences shortened under the law. The average reduction is 29 months, meaning that over all, offenders are serving roughly 16,000 years fewer than they otherwise would have. And since the federal government spends about $30,000 per year to house an inmate, this reduction alone is worth nearly half-a-billion dollars — big money for a Bureau of Prisons with a $7 billion budget. In addition, the commission found no significant difference in recidivism rates between those prisoners who were released early and those who served their full sentences.” Read more