Prisons Not The Whole Crime Strategy: Holder


The nation’s higher imprisonment rate in recent decades is partly responsible for the drop in crime, but “imprisonment is not a complete strategy for criminal law enforcement,” says Attorney General Eric Holder. Speaking to the Vera Institute of Justice, Holder said that to get smarter on crime,”we need new tools – and one way to develop new tools is to look several steps past getting people into prison, and to consider what happens to people after they leave prison and reenter society.” Holder urged “smart risk assessments [that] can identify which offenders can safely remain in their communities and which require continued detention and more intensive supervision.”

Calling for a “data-driven, non-ideological, post-partisan approach to crime,” Holder said the Justice Department is examining a number of areas for possible reform proposals, including sentencing policy, indigent defense, and forensic science. “We are able to compare the cost and suitability of different criminal justice strategies,” Holder said. “We no longer must choose between more crime and more prisons: we can reduce crime rates and reduce our dependence on incarceration, and at the same time increase the integrity of our criminal justice system.”

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