In an escalation of the war on drugs, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has rescinded two Obama-era memos that encouraged prosecutors to avoid seeking inordinately harsh sentences for low-level drug offenses. He also instructed Justice Department prosecutors to pursue "the most serious" charges for all drug offenses. Former Attorney General Eric Holder condemned the move, saying, "The policy announced today is not tough on crime. It is dumb on crime." Under the Obama administration guidelines, the number of drug offenders given mandatory minimum sentences plummeted, contributing to a 14 percent decline in the total federal prison population. We speak to Carl Hart, chair of the Department of Psychology and a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University, and former anti-drug-war activist Anthony Papa, who was sentenced to two 15-years-to-life sentences for a single, nonviolent drug offense.
War and Peace
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