1) If prisons are overcrowded...work on reducing the commissions of crimes, not reducing the punishments.
2) Holder favors drug treatment and community service programs in lieu of incarceration. This is already done at the State and Local level (which Holder mentions). Typically, the only non-violent low-level drug offenders in Federal prison have multiple convictions and are not 'low-level', so they do not fit the definition Holder is speaking of. Further, shouldn't you look at the results of these programs before expanding them to the next level. He mentions they exist, and then misuses statistics to try and prove his case.
3) Holder is talking about changing DOJ policy regarding what crime to charge. DOJ already has this discretion. United States Attorney's turn down more cases than they accept. What will be taken away is the THREAT of longer prison terms - ie the power of the plea. Holder wouldn't know this because...he is only the head of the DOJ. Holder said that mandatory minimum sentences are used indiscriminately...is Holder accusing his own Federal Prosecutors of indiscriminately charging people?
|Where there's drugs...there's guns|
|The Faces of Meth (LINK)|
My 2 Cents:
Shorten sentences and make prison hard. Get rid of weight rooms, segregate populations into smaller more controllable groups. Selective isolation as punishment for all offenses. On the State and Local level - same thing, instead of somebody doing 30 days in camp for drugs, 3 days of isolation.
Its funny - Holder mentions convicted drug offenders who have "no ties to large-scale organizations...". The DRUGS tie them to the large-scale organization. He is talking about Federal prisoners - so he is not talking about somebody who grew their own marijuana.