Twenty years ago, the problem was a nationwide crime epidemic. Now, we face a different crisis: a prison epidemic. American prisons are bursting with low-level, non-violent offenders. Each prisoner costs taxpayers an average of $30,000 a year.
Today the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee passed bipartisan sentencing reform legislation that reduces the federal prison population, decreases racial disparities, saves taxpayer money, and reunites nonviolent drug law offenders with their families sooner.
Our federal prisons are already operating at 140 percent of their capacity. To slow this problem, the report urges Congress to avoid passing new laws that will waste expensive prison space on low-risk offenders.