MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek was one of 130 current and former law enforcement officials in Washington D.C. Wednesday taking a stand against the number of people incarcerated in America’s prisons.
Stanek is part of a new coalition called Law Enforcement Leaders to Reduce Crime and Incarceration.
“I have seen firsthand the consequences of locking up too many people for low-level offenses,” Stanek said, in a statement. “It can kick-start a cycle of incarceration that turns first-time offenders into repeat offenders.”
According to a press release, the coalition believes unnecessary incarceration doesn’t work to reduce crime, it wastes tax dollars, damages families and divides communities.
The group plans to meet with President Barack Obama on Thursday to talk about changing the nation’s laws and policies.
Specifically, the group is hoping Congress and state legislatures will change the law to promote alternatives to incarceration, especially for mentally ill individuals and drug offenders.
They are also looking for changes to overly harsh laws, mandatory minimums and hoping for an increased focus on community relations.
According to statistics from World Prison Brief, the United States has about 5 percent of the world’s population, and nearly 25 percent of its prisoners.