The US Department of Justice and the US Sentencing Commission have made a startling announcement that will affect America and the Black community. It has been announced that more than 6K federal prisoners are set to be released by Nov. 1, 2015. The vast majority of prisoners were convicted of non-violent drug offenses. In addition, it is estimated that two-thirds of those being released are illegal immigrants.
The federal government estimates that overtime more than 40K inmates will be released under similar circumstances and convictions. A significant number of those to be released were convicted during the ’80s and ’90s under the mandatory minimum sentencing policy of the US judicial system. Jon Adler, president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, stated, “Releasing 6,000 prisoners who we maintain are in fact violent by virtue of the drugs they peddle — concurrent with the rise of violent crime, concurrent with the rise in mass shootings — is a fatal mistake … The road to a larger American graveyard is paved with these so-called sentencing reform good intentions.”
Now what is facing the Black community is a significant group of non-employable Black men and women returning to the community. There is no talk of federal job assistance or legislation to allow these people to re-enter the workforce. Even the illegal immigrants being released are not going to be automatically returned to their countries of origin. America is now facing a significant societal issue with these convicts. However, many are hailing this decision including Mary Price, general counsel for Families Against Mandatory Minimums. She stated, “We are very confident this is the right thing to do and the public is not going to be unduly harmed by these releases. All of these people, were they sentenced today, would be sentenced to significantly shorter terms of incarceration.’’
So what do you say, is the ‘hood ready to see the return of our missing black men without employability?