Briefing Papers: The Need to Repeal Mandatory Minimum Sentences for Drug Offenses

Here is a series of short papers about the problems with mandatory minimums, from many different angles. If there is an issue that you’d like to see us address, please let us know.  

Mandatory Minimums: FAQs about drug sentences.  Supporters of harsh sentencing laws claim that they work, or if they don’t, not that many people are being hurt.  See for yourself.

Mandatory Minimums: By the numbersHere are the basics on how many people in Massachusetts are sentenced to mandatory minimums, for how long and at what cost. 

Mandatory Minimums: No decrease in addiction. Mandatory minimums were supposed to reduce or get rid of substance abuse and addiction. They didn’t. 

Mandatory Minimums: Compare the sentences. Nonviolent drug offenders can – and do – get longer sentences than violent criminals. This is justice? 

Mandatory Minimums: The school zone law. This particular mandatory minimum has sent thousands to prison, even if they posed no threat to public safety.  

Mandatory Minimums: Bipartisan support for reform. Both conservatives and liberals are calling for change. Both red and blue states are heeding the call. 

Mandatory Minimums: Reforms in other states. See what other states have done over the last decade.  

Mandatory Minimums: Bills for reform. These bills are currently being considered by the Massachusetts Legislature.