Hoyer Statement on the Department of Justice's New Policy on Mandatory Minimum Sentencing

For Immediate Release:

August 12, 2013

Contact:

Stephanie Young, 202-225-3130

WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today after Attorney General Eric Holder announced the Department of Justice's new policy on mandatory minimum sentencing for non-violent drug offenders:

“The Attorney General’s announcement today of new guidelines for prosecutors to help reduce incarceration of non-violent, low-level drug offenders is an important step toward achieving the Administration’s goal of identifying reforms that will ensure that federal laws are enforced more fairly and efficiently.  Too many Americans end up losing years of their lives as a result of mandatory minimum sentences, and racial disparities continue to plague the system.  Taxpayers are footing a heavy bill to house a prison population that has grown 800% since 1980 and that represents many individuals who are capable of being productive members of our society.  I was proud to lead an effort in 2010 to pass the Fair Sentencing Act that reduced the disparities between sentencing for possession of crack cocaine and for powder cocaine, and I will continue to work with the Justice Department and my colleagues in Congress to take additional steps toward making sure our justice system is more fair, more efficient, and works for all Americans.”  

###