Whats up with campaign against mandatory drug

Mike Steindel (CLaw7MAn@webtv.net)
Thu, 1 Jul 1999 14:55:57 -0700 (PDT)

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Why is it that dope czar mcaffrey is all of a sudden campaigning against
long mandatory minimums. There has got to be a sinister motive behind
this move. This is the guy that refuses to place anti alcohol ads side
by side with kitchen smashing teens supposedly addicted to heroin.
Although to me they mirror the actions of a drunk. This is the guy who
continually denies that Cannabis has any medicinal value even in the
face of an IOM report he himself commissioned. Maybe he and his keepers
perceive that by lightening the impact of arrest with a shortened jail
stay they will placate the masses who favor legalization and medical
implementation of Cannabis. Possibly this is a move to stave off the
loss of the cash cow that funds oh so many police departments with
bullshit forfeitures and seizures. This guy is not our buddy barry, he
has been bought and paid for by the partnership 4 a drug free america,
big tobacco and booze along with big prison industry and big PIGS aka
Law Enforcement. He claims to believe in funding treatment centers but
persists in dropping 2 billion to his media pals for hip kitchen
smashing spots. Czar Barry and his boss President Clinton along with
Janet Reno and Donna Shalala are up to something no good but what is it.
Could it have something to do with Hillary's run for the Senate in New
York? If so its just more political Who Haw from this Sax playing, Boxer
wearing, I didn't inhale and I love my wife BS administration. mike

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McCaffrey begins campaign to end mandatory minimum sentencing!

I know that the battle has just begun, but "de-incarceration" will begin
"relatively" soon. Relative to how long it has gone on thus far. It's time to
work folks! We want federal parole, we want our loved ones home!

There are some new folks on this list - if you aren't familiar with our radio
project, give John Humphrey <as684@lafn.org>  a message and he will introduce
you to the project.


White House Drug Chief Critical of N.Y. Laws

 June 29, 1999 The New York Times

               Gen. Barry McCaffrey, the retired general who directs the

White  House's drug control policy, has added his voice to the criticism of the
mandatory prison sentences required under New York's stringent drug laws.

          In a speech scheduled for Tuesday before a conference on substance
abuse and criminal justice in Albany, N.Y., McCaffrey, the director of the
Office of National Drug Control Policy, asserts that building more prisons,  as
New York is doing, will not solve the problem of drug-driven crime.

          "Even those who helped pass the Rockefeller-era laws now have serious
concerns that these laws have caused thousands of low-level and first-time
offenders to be incarcerated at high cost for long sentences that are
disproportionate to their crimes," he says.

          Treating offenders for drug addiction instead of just locking them up
will  reduce crime as well as prison costs, McCaffrey contends, according to an
advance copy of his speech. "The larger question we need

to focus on is: What is the most effective way to deal with the interrelated
problems of substance abuse and the crime it generates?"

          The general's trip to Albany is one stop in his new campaign to
persuade politicians, law enforcement officials and ordinary Americans across
the country that imprisoning people for some drug offenses only breeds more
criminality in the long run.

          McCaffrey notes a new study by John DiIulio, a Princeton University
professor, reporting that one-fourth of recent admissions to prisons in New
York involve felons whose only crimes have been low-level, nonviolent drug

          "Our prisons have become akin to graduate schools of crime,"
McCaffrey says in his prepared speech, "four- to six-year 'mid-crime-career'
breaks during which the chronic drug and alcohol abusers are sent away to
perfect their ugly trade and to learn even more dangerous criminal acts from
those who have already moved up the hierarchy of criminal offenses."

          New York's drug laws, enacted more than 26 years ago when the late
Nelson Rockefeller was governor, are among the toughest in the country. They
require state judges to impose sentences as long as 15 years to life for the
sale of as little as two ounces, or possession of four ounces, of heroin,
cocaine or other hard drugs.

          As a result, more than 22,300 drug offenders, who make up one-third
of New York's state prison population, are locked up, raising confinement costs
by $715 million a year, according to the Correctional Association of New York,
a prison watchdog group.

          "Although anecdotal evidence suggests that thousands of first-time
drug  offenders are diverted from prison into treatment by judges in New York
state" McCaffrey says, "the number is still far too small relative to the
overall number of drug-offense arrestees."

          Jeffrion Aubry, the chairman of the state Assembly's Corrections
Committee, has proposed legislation that would give sentencing discretion back
to the judges. Former state Sen. John Dunne tried to rally support for a
similar measure. But attempts to end the mandatory minimum sentences have been
thwarted by Albany's partisan politics and a fear among Republicans and
Democrats of looking soft on crime.



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