“Governor Soft on Crime?” or “Prosecutors on a testosterone high?”
is public safety served by the eventual release of drug offenders who
have been sentenced to draconian terms of incarceration?
A great alternative would be to reduce the Prosecutors budget by every dollar of increased prison costs
A group of Indiana prosecutors has denounced a proposal backed by Gov. Mitch
Daniels to shorten sentences for many drug crimes, reports the Indianapolis
Star. The prosecutors’ position signals what could be a provocative debate
over whether the proposal is a responsible way to curtail prison costs or a
soft-on-crime measure that might endanger the public.
The sentence reductions are part of a larger criminal justice overhaul
backed by Daniels, Chief Justice Randall Shepard, and two national think
tanks. One senator involved fears the debate over cutting sentences — and
likely accusations of being soft on crime — could torpedo the reform
package. The Association of Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys voted to oppose
the state Criminal Code Evaluation Commission recommendations to shorten
terms for drug crimes like possession and dealing of cocaine and
methamphetamine. "There are all kinds of proposals on the table that reduce
and reassign sentencing levels," said the board’s 2010 president, Shelby
County Prosecutor Kent Apsley. "Some of them in my view are pretty extreme
changes in the law and probably go too far. The question is: Where is the
breaking point where you’re saving money to the point that it may seriously
impact public safety?"