Do mandatory minimum sentences help curb illegal activity?

Mandatory Minimum sentences were put in place during the 1980s, as an attempt to contribute to the War Against Drugs. As the years progressed, the sentences became longer for smaller charges and we began to see the jails fill up with non-violent drug users. In 2010, President Obama began to make some long-necessary changes to the criminal justice system, including starting to repeal mandatory minimum sentences.

Those in favor of mandatory minimum sentences believe that they can work as a deterrent of illegal behavior, as well as keeping criminals off the streets. It is also seen as a way to level the playing field and take race, gender, and previous behavior out of the question when sentencing criminals.

Those against mandatory minimum sentences believe that they are inherently racist, with most effecting African American men. Additionally, there is a belief that mandatory minimums do not work as a deterrent for illegal behavior, and only hurt people who are addicted to the drugs they were convicted for.

Do mandatory minimum sentences help curb illegal activity?

Current Standings:
Yes: 76%
No: 24%
  • Brendan from New York

    Mandatory minimum sentences help deter crime because criminals are less likely to commit a crime if they know they are guaranteed time in prison for doing it. Also, it is a fair way of deterring crime, because it isn’t affected by factors such as race, gender, or nationality

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    Mandatory minimum sentences help deter crime because criminals are less likely to commit a crime if they know they are guaranteed time in prison for d…

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  • Peter from New York

    Getting arrested for doing ILLEGAL drugs has nothing to do with race. It is more the fact that they are breaking the laws.

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  • Clive from California

    I agree with minimum sentences as long as the crime is relevant. A minimum sentence shouldn’t apply to an old person who is using marijuana for health reasons for an example.

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  • Chris from Alabama

    Minimum sentences are a good thing for many types of society. It leaves choices of breaking laws up to individuals, and their knowledge of these sentences. It is a balanced system, and effects everybody who does anything covered by the minimum sentences.

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    Minimum sentences are a good thing for many types of society. It leaves choices of breaking laws up to individuals, and their knowledge of these sente…

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  • Brady from California

    For example, if a drug dealer goes to jail, the minimum sentence is the length of time they can’t deal drugs.
    They could then think that it maybe isn’t worth it, or their is an opposite incentive.

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    For example, if a drug dealer goes to jail, the minimum sentence is the length of time they can’t deal drugs.
    They could then think that it maybe isn…

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  • Ethan from California

    Yes. When people know that they will be spending a certain amount of time in prison for a crime, they are more inclined to make the right choice.

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  • Alex from Illinois

    Yes, when minimum sentences are set, people may think more about the time they’ll be spending in prison and think that the supposed benefit isn’t worth it

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  • Nash from Ohio

    I think that people will learn from their mistakes with a minimum sentence and I also think that having a consequence for their actions might make them less likely to commit a crime

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    I think that people will learn from their mistakes with a minimum sentence and I also think that having a consequence for their actions might make the…

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  • Morgan from Colorado

    Mandatory sentences are effective because no one wants to spend half a year for theft. So left people will commit theft. This could be a valueable asset.

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  • Ethan from Louisiana

    Yes because, no one likes going to jail, so crime rate will go down

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  • Jack from Massachusetts

    Yes but they shouldn’t be that long for a petty crime or personal drug use
    But they should worsen if it is a second offence

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  • Mason from Idaho

    The minimum sentence will be able to help keep criminals if the streets during their sentence , they will not want to go back

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    • Ben from Utah

      It is important to know that people who are put in jail for drugs and other minor misdemeanors often have better chances at changing their actions when they get out.

      0
  • Osbourne from New York

    Yes because we should imprint nt he idea of this is what will happen if you beak the law

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  • Jacob from Iowa

    Communities will ultimately be safer if a minimum sentence is implented. Criminals would become less likely to commit crimes if this was a thing.

    0
    • Neil from New York

      People will realize that it’s not worth it if they get caught doing something stupid and get the same time as somebody who did something serious

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  • Jeremy from New Jersey

    Minimum prison sentences help minimize illegal activity. As said above, it takes race, ethnicity, sex, political views, and sexual orientation out of the equation. It’s like being scared straight. People are less likely to commit felonies if there is a minimum prison sentence that they could go to jail for instead of thinking they will not go to jail for a long time.

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    Minimum prison sentences help minimize illegal activity. As said above, it takes race, ethnicity, sex, political views, and sexual orientation out of …

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  • Patrick from Pennsylvania

    This would make the world a safer place. Also can make more space for the actual people that like murdered someone.

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  • Christian from New Jersey

    The sentences can help take the crime off the streets while they are behind bars. That might help a lot

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  • Evan from Oregon

    As some jails profit from jailing, we should have this for reduced jails and so we can lock up people who do something like murder people

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  • Alex from Minnesota

    It makes the community safer and secure from criminals

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  • Cameron from Minnesota

    People that break the law might decide that whatever it is that they did isn’t worth another longer jail sentence so they won’t do it again

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  • Wyatt from Mississippi

    With minimum sentences, you reduce the time it takes in a court to decide if a sentence is long enough. It will help people know what will happen if they are convicted.

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  • Brendan from New Jersey

    With Mandatory illegal sentence, you can reduce the amount of crime on the steeets. In addition, there is no bais sentences for the same crime for different people.

    0
    • Owen from Oregon

      The sentence can help take the crime off the streets and help stop the drug war

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  • Nathan from California

    If everyone helps out then we would be a lot safer. Less people would because they will be doing there part to help illegal activity.

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  • Keith from Massachusetts

    Yes so that the jails aren’t being filled up with people who aren’t dangerous or violent and so the jails can store more agile criminals

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  • Shane from Pennsylvania

    I believe it does because when someone gets sent to a short sentence with their family and friends watching, then when they get to jail, they realize what they did was wrong and try to change when they are let out.

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    I believe it does because when someone gets sent to a short sentence with their family and friends watching, then when they get to jail, they realize …

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  • Art from Pennsylvania

    Yes because the punishment should have a minimum sentence so it will make citizens follow the laws more.

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  • Michael from New Jersey

    Minimum sentences will make people less likely to commit crimes. This will make people less like to commit a crime.

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  • Dhillon from New Jersey

    Give people a second chance

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  • Kayla from Ohio

    It’s the judge’s job to decide a fair punishment, mandatory minimums take that control away from them. Additionally., longer prison sentences have been linked to a higher reincarceration rate

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    It’s the judge’s job to decide a fair punishment, mandatory minimums take that control away from them. Additionally., longer prison sentences have bee…

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  • Noah from Utah

    Mandatory sentences could lead to the collapse of the United States Federal Prison System. The U.S. is 5% of the world population, but we have 25% of the world’s prison population. We need criminals off the streets, but we can’t lock up everyone. The United States has a prison problem to solve. If the U.S. prison system collapses, we could have a full-blown crisis. It could even destroy the United States! That’s why we need to put our focus on criminals that should really go to prison, not just every prisoner.

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    Mandatory sentences could lead to the collapse of the United States Federal Prison System. The U.S. is 5% of the world population, but we have 25% of …

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  • Jack from New York

    No, what is necessary is for reformation of the criminals, not punishment

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  • Michael from Ohio

    No. I think rehabilitation is better than prison because in prison, prisoners don’t usually become better, they will most likely discuss criminal techniques with others.

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  • Matthew Swiderski from Mississippi

    Mandatory Minimum Sentences are a good thing in moderation- like for felonies and stuff. However, I don’t believe that some misdemeanors warrant them- i.e. petty theft.

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  • Riley from Montana

    This won’t completely solve the issue of illegal activity

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  • Andrew from New York

    The mandatory minimum turns non violent drug uses into hardened criminals. Our prisons are already filled up enough and we don’t need more people in prison for non violent offenses.

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    The mandatory minimum turns non violent drug uses into hardened criminals. Our prisons are already filled up enough and we don’t need more people in p…

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  • Maxwell from Illinois

    I don’t think mandatory minimum sentences should be allowed, because it is possible that it could just be an addition much confusion and gossip, like what had been explained how mandatory minimum sentences were getting racist.

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    I don’t think mandatory minimum sentences should be allowed, because it is possible that it could just be an addition much confusion and gossip, like …

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