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?