Sentenced to ten years, out in two. Outrageous!
The myth that prisoners serve small fractions of sentences is one of the most destructive falsehoods driving the tragedy of mass incarceration. In Ohio and elsewhere, the use of parole and probation has shrunk to levels that can only be described as harmful to us all.
Let’s be honest. The election of Donald Trump as president felt like a kick in the gut to many supporters of the ACLU of Ohio. The size of Trump’s victory in the Buckeye State—eight percentage points—was especially disheartening for those who defend the rights of people whom our next president attacked: people of color, women, immigrants, people with disabilities, and others.
The American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights Watch recently released a startling and heart-breaking report on the drug war called Every 25 Seconds: The Human Toll of Criminalizing Drug Use in the United States. The title’s “25 seconds” refers to the frequency of drug possession arrests in the United States—not selling or making drugs, simply the act of having a drug or, sometimes, merely drug residue.