Say “Yes” to Federal Parole, “No” to Mandatory Minimums

The federal parole system was abolished for offenders convicted after 1987 as part of the government’s “get tough on crime” measures and the war on drugs. 

The loss of the parole system, and a substantial reduction in good behavior adjustments in federal prisons, has done little or nothing to deter crime or drug use, but it has stressed and virtually wrecked the federal prison system and seriously harmed American communities. 

Bureau of Justice records show that there were fewer than 22,000 federal prisoners in 1979. Today the federal system holds ten times that number, roughly 220,000 inmates, costing taxpayers over $8.2 billion annually.

Federal prisons are at least 40% overcapacity, according to the Justice Department. That inhumane overcrowding has caused prison life to deteriorate, turn dangerous, unhealthful, and contribute little to rehabilitation.

A startling 71% of all federal prisoners are racial or ethnic minorities. The long federal sentences inflicted on Blacks and Hispanics are doing major economic harm to local economies and destabilizing families in U.S. minority neighborhoods – that’s bad for communities, and bad for the nation.

Prisology and its tens of thousands of constituents want to reinstate a fair parole system and do away with harsh mandatory minimum sentences, saving billions in taxes. Go to our Action page to see how you can contribute to our effort.

New consideration should be given to the reinstatement of parole for federal offenders to help restore fairness in the criminal justice system and relieve overcrowding in the swelling federal prison system.

Eric Holder | Attorney General under the Obama Administration