What are the actual facts of this example and how do I find them? I feel like I am getting half the story here and that the story is at best incomplete. What were the extenuating circumstances that lead to the long sentence? Without that type of information, how can anyone reasonably conclude the system is broken since we aren’t being shown how it is actually working? If the system is as bad as the ACLU makes it out to be (and it might be) then show that by giving all the facts, not cherry-picking the ones that make your point and leaving out the rest. At the same time, we’ve had a giant increase in prisons for profit. Follow the money to see who benefits at taxpayer and citizen expense. Doris Brinson It would be good to know about extenuating circumstances but you probably realize that with mandatory sentencing the judge has no discretion. I did a quick Google search. “Filing a false police report” doesn’t sound so bad. It sounds a lot better than falsely accusing her ex-husband of attempted murder causing him to be arrested. Oh, and those “extenuating circumstances” – that was actually a charge of obstruction of justice. They probably also threw in the fact that she had done this before. The more I learn about this the more reasonable this sentence seems. I believe these harsh sentences serve the interests of private prisons more than private citizens. So, the rich get richer and the poor go to jail. Overly harsh sentences are unjust AND ineffective. Reducing crime is done by addressing the root causes, not by trying to simply deter them through nothing but harsh conditions and harsh sentences. The proof is in the pudding. We wouldn’t have millions in the criminal justice My tooth is hurting and I can’t afford to fix it shirt if what we’ve been doing works. It costs billions that could be better spent on addressing root causes. It results in a corrupt system that allows investment in for-profit prisons that fattens the wallets of investors while increasing taxes on the working class (not because it’s necessary, at the federal level, but because people believe that it’s necessary—at the state level, it IS necessary). When you attach profit to criminal justice, you add further incentive to keep the profits flowing—at the cost of real justice.