Why Are We Treating Drug Addiction With Prison?
Maia Szalavitz

Maia admits that she continued to deal in spite of the risk of high mandatory minimums, because those around her were treated lightly. So doesn’t it follow that treating dealers lightly encourages them?

She also says that the most effective punishment is that which is dealt out quickly. But defense lawyers try to delay proceedings for months, even years. Aren’t those contradictory?

Many claim that mandatory minimums were the tactic chosen by racists who wanted blacks in prison. Sorry, no, mandatory minimums were a reaction to the large disparity in sentencing for the same crime, with some lenient judges simply operating a revolving door even for violent crimes.

I don’t dispute that reforms are called for. But it frosts my backside to be called a racist all the time.

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