The Obama Administration has made prison reform a top priority. For years there has been a massive outcry for reformative action to be taken against mandatory minimum sentences that sometimes gives life sentences to low level drug offenders. The consensus has been that these harsh penalties has taken the power from judges to review cases on an individual basis and has given prosecutors too much leverage. All crimes and criminal offenders are not created equally, but the sentencing guide prevents sentences proportionate to the crime and offender. Justice cannot be done in this type of penal system, not for citizens or criminals that need rehabilitation. Statistics shows that minorities are unfairly targeted more than whites and subjected to these harsh sentences resulting in state and federal correctional facilities filled with blacks and Hispanics. Before changes were made, every one gram of crack cocaine was equal to one hundred grams of powder cocaine. So fifty grams of crack (a little larger than an averaged sized chocolate chip cookie) was equivalent to five kilograms of powder cocaine. This chocolate chip cookie sized amount of drugs carried a mandatory minimum ten year sentence on the Federal level.
The eighties were a crazy time in America. The Regan Administration declared war on drugs. Crack dealing became a form of domestic and crack dealers became public enemy number one. The media fed the American public images of millionaire crack dealers with armies armed with better weapons than law enforcement. Murder rates spiked in every major city. Gang banging was spreading from the West Coast to the East Coast because of enterprising young dealers were expanding their drug operations. The news spoke of crack users, babies being born addicted to crack and America’s youth being strung out on this new high. Wars broke out over territory. Crack ruled the urban areas and would soon find a foothold in suburban America.