These days it seems everyone is getting on board with prison reform in one form or another, from President Obama to John Boehner—but federal prosecutors are battling the tide.
According to a US News report, federal prosecutors are starting to feel the heat from the bipartisan justice reform movement that’s been sweeping the nation. On Friday, the National Association of Assistant U.S. Attorneys, a group representing over 1,500 attorneys, urged against reform, arguing that the system is just peachy as-is.
“The federal criminal justice system is not broken,” association president Steve Cook said at an event on Capitol Hill. He went on to warn of “what a huge mistake it would be” to lighten sentencing for nonviolent drug offenses.
Instead, he’d like to ramp up incarceration even more.
“Do I think it would be a good investment to build more [prisons]? Yeah, no question about it!”
This prison-building rhetoric comes at a time when both conservatives and liberals tend to believe the U.S. spends far too much time and money throwing people behind bars. The U.S. currently has five percent of the world’s population, but 25 percent of the world's prison population. The federal prison population has nearly tripled since 1991.
Just last week, John Boehner backed Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner's (R-Wis.) sentencing reform bill, saying that there are too many people in prison who "really don’t need to be there.”
On the same day, President Obama became the first sitting president to ever visit a federal prison.