In a speech before Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network on Thursday in New York, Attorney General Eric Holder lamented that the United States incarcerates too many for too long and often for no legitimate reason.
"Too many people go to too many prisons for far too long for no good law enforcement reason," Holder said, according to prepared text of his remarks. "It is time to ask ourselves some fundamental questions about our criminal justice system. Statutes passed by legislatures that mandate sentences, irrespective of the unique facts of an individual case, too often bear no relation to the conduct at issue, breed disrespect for the system, and are ultimately counterproductive. It is time to examine our systems and determine what truly works. We need to ensure that incarceration is used to punish, to rehabilitate, and to deter – and not simply to warehouse and forget."
Read the full speech here.