NVDAILY.COM | Opinion
Posted August 26, 2013 | Leave a comment
Letter to the Editor: Panel needs to hold hearing on prison reform
I saw where U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is outlining new policies for enforcing drug laws against non-violent offenders in an effort to reduce the amount of time one gets sentenced to prison, thereby reducing the number of prisoners in prisons and the associated costs.
I also saw where Holder was warned by Congressman Bob Goodlatte not to bypass his House Judiciary Committee in efforts at reform.
I found that curious and wondered what Goodlatte's committee had done with in regard to this issue. So, I looked back through the records of hearings conducted by his committee since Goodlatte became chairman. To my surprise, I did not find a single hearing held about prison reform or sentencing reform with regard to drug laws since the Republicans took over in 2010. Being a bit more curious, I wondered what received the most attention from Goodlatte and found more hearings held on regulation overreach or reform than anything besides immigration.
Why, I wonder, is the judiciary committee concerned about too many regulations on corporations? Then I saw hearings on "overcriminalization" and thought that maybe this was about sentencing reform. I was wrong. Seems Goodlatte's committee is concerned that some folks guilty of violating some regulations are also guilty of a crime. And you know we can't have that. Too many white collar folks in jail for violating a few seemingly unnecessary rules just would not look good.
The Senate, however, is working on reforming mandatory sentencing and hopefully will force Goodlatte and his committee to hold a hearing on this issue even without Holder's help.
Michael Cash, Fort Valley
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