More Than 100 Law Enforcement Officials Call For Criminals To Get Less Time In Jail

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Casey Harper Contributor
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An impressive coalition of 130 police chiefs, prosecutors and sheriffs from around the country gathered Wednesday in Washington, D.C., to do the unexpected: call for a reduction in the nation’s incarceration rate.

Top police leaders have created a new group called the Law Enforcement Leaders to Reduce Crime and Incarceration, which will meet Thursday with President Barack Obama at the White House to push for reducing incarceration.

The group says police departments should save time and money for more serious crimes instead of using resources on lower level, non-violent offenders, and is calling for mental health and drug treatment and changing mandatory minimums for nonviolent and drug offenses.

“Our officers are losing all day long on arrest reports and at lockups dropping off prisoners — it’s for low-level offenders who pose no threat to the community, are posing very little to no threat for recidivism, and overwhelmingly are just folks who have mental health or drug addiction problems that there’s no place else for them to go,”Ronal Serpas, co-chair of the new group, told NPR.

The group has the support of a range of top law enforcement, including  NYPD Commissioner William Brattob, Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier, Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland and LAPD Police Chief Charlie Beck.

The groups did not endorse the Senate sentencing and prison reform bill which had a hearing earlier this week, but you can be sure this police group will influence the debate going forward.

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