Johanna Markind is an attorney who formerly worked for the U.S. Parole Commission. In that capacity, she got an up-close look at the federal criminal system, which leads her to state in a recent Wall Street Journal article that, “It’s time for an overhaul.”
Much of what is currently wrong in the world of federal sentencing and the American justice system generally can be traced to the Sentencing Reform Act of 1987, says Markind, which did away with parole possibilities for inmates who committed federal crimes. Markind alludes to the tough-on-crime sentiments of that time, which underpinned the rationale that, for two inmates, the same time should apply to the same crime, with no exceptions.
Markind terms much of what has happened since the law’s passage as “unforeseen consequences” that have jacked-up prison costs by a staggering amount and swollen prison populations.