The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law has initiated a flagship initiative to reduce mass incarceration in response to growing concerns among many law enforcement and government leaders that our country’s incarceration rate is too high. As Attorney General Eric Holder has stated, “Too many people go to too many prisons for far too long for no good law enforcement reason.”
Last July, the Brennan Center convened a panel for a discussion on shifting the incentives of federal prosecutors to align with an approach to criminal justice policy that seeks to reduce crime while also reducing the federal prison population. The panel included the following former and current U.S. Attorneys: G. Douglas Jones (NDAL), Chair; Walter C. Holton, Jr. (MDNC); Loretta E. Lynch (EDNY); Zachary Carter (EDNY); Stephen Robinson (CONN); Paul Fishman (NJ); Barry Grissom (KS); Kenneth Polite (EDLA); and Timothy Purdon (ND). The panel also included former Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer and former NIJ Director Jeremy Travis. The panel assisted with crafting a report entitled Federal Prosecutions for the 21st Century, unveiled by Attorney General Holder in a September Brennan Center conference.
The attached editorial, Changing the Priorities of a ‘Prison-Happy Country’ was authored by NAFUSA member Walter C. Holton, Jr., shown left, in conjunction with the Brennan Center’s efforts, and published in The Crime Report on November 11, 2014.