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Taking Aim at Mass Incarceration

Assistant Professor Andrea Roth lauds President Obama for recently commuting the prison sentences of 46 nonviolent drug offenders, but she says reformers should also pay close attention to the increase in violent crime prosecutions and their racial disparities. Roth’s recent Los Angeles Times op-ed shows how prosecuting violent crimes, not drug possession and sales, has bloated our prison system. She says “we should not ignore or excuse irrational overpunishment simply because an offender has done something violent.”