Persuasive Essay On Mandatory Minimums

Mandatory minimums, harsh prison sentences imposed on offenders by law, where discretion is limited. Offenders, most of the time nonviolent, are faced with prison terms that are meant for a drug kingpin, not a low level first or second time offender. Mandatory minimums have been proven not to be the answer in our criminal justice system and need to be changed. Mandatory Minimums has created a problem within our society where we send everyone to prison and don 't present offenders with better opportunities. We have turned into a society focused on retribution and deterrence, and have forgotten about rehabilitation.
Mandatory sentences are laws that provide certain sentences for certain crimes. Having drugs too close to a school, or having
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Echols won a district wide writing contest, he worked in the community with at risk youth. He received a two decade sentence for having drugs, money, and an unloaded rifle. In his case Echols was forced into selling drugs by the poor economy and not being able to find a job. He sold drugs to take care of his family and to put himself through school. He was nonviolent, did not have a record, and was a model in the community but due to his circumstances which left him no other choice but to sell drugs. If there was more money put into communities like Echols community, and not into prisons, Echols would have had a chance to a better life with his family. The judge was forced to by these sentencing laws to sentence Echols to 20 years after finding 44 grams of crack, almost 6,000 dollars to pay for school, and a rifle that had never been loaded. His lawyer argued that his case could have resulted in a probation term, but the Mandatory Minimums sentenced Echols 10 years for the drugs and another 10 years for the rifle. A heartbreaking case where a man who wanted to provide for his family, go to school, fell into tough times, and had no other choice but to sell drugs. His wife also spent all their savings in legal fees and lawyers. Mandatory Minimums not only sentenced him to 20 years, but also his family. His daughter is going to be without a…show more content…
There prison population is overpopulated with people just like these. The people in these cases needed help, whether it be employment opportunities, rehabilitation, an alternative to prison, or even a lesser sentence. We have learned that throwing everyone who has a problem in prison and letting them rot behind bars is not the answer. We have only created another problem that our prisons have become overcrowded, and when these offenders finally come out of prison they have a high risk to go right back in. We have to put funding back into communities, society needs to stop spending so much money on sending people to prison, and spend more money trying to keep them out. Society has to put funding back into creating employment opportunities, affordable rehab, and focus on low income communities who need the most help. We need to leave the violent offenders that we are afraid of for prison, and for the people that really need help we can 't put them in jail. Mandatory Minimum sentences are not the answer, this bill needs to be reformed. We have learned that our prisons are filled with people just like Angelos, Echols, and Lockwood who didn’t deserve such harsh sentences and would have benefitted from a judge 's discretion. These people lives would not have been ruined by these sentences if they had better

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