FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Lani Prunés
WASHINGTON, DC – FAMM Vice President Kevin Ring released the following statement in response to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report for 2015, which revealed an increase in violent crime and a decrease in property crime:
“There’s a lot we don’t know about these disturbing numbers, but we do know this: In an era of tight budgets, Congress must make tradeoffs between competing spending priorities. And in the area of combating serious, violent crime, Congress has made a clear – and incredibly dangerous – tradeoff over the last 20 years. Since 1998, Congress has increased spending on federal prisons by 45 percent while slashing spending on state and local law enforcement by 76 percent. This makes no sense at all, especially since most violent crime is investigated and prosecuted at the state and local level.
“If Congress cares about increasing public safety, it will stop wasting so much taxpayer money holding low-level offenders and target more resources at the most dangerous criminals. FAMM today released its latest profile of an excessive mandatory minimum sentence that will do nothing to enhance public safety. Robyn Hamilton, a low-level drug offender, last year was sentenced to a mandatory minimum of 10 years. Robyn’s judge, who knew all the facts and circumstances of her case but could not consider them because Congress mandated her sentence, called her the “poster child” for eliminating one-size-fits-all, Washington knows best sentencing laws. We agree.
“Those who say these crime numbers argue against reform have it exactly backwards. These numbers – and cases like Robyn’s – make clear we can and need to do better – now.”
FAMM, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, promotes commonsense sentencing and prison policies that increase public safety.
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