These were Jeff Sessions’ exact words late in the afternoon on Friday during a speech when he officially rolled out the blueprint for his own War on Drugs. It's his belief that prosecutors haven't been able to do their job correctly because of former President Barrack Obama and Eric Holder’s policy on non-violent drug offenders. He will attempt to win this war by levying over 5,000 prosecutors across the United States to impose the harshest of charges made possible by current law to just about every person arrested for drugs, regardless of past criminal activity or lack thereof.
Mr. Sessions claims that there will be some exceptions where applicable, but from his speech rhetoric, this concession doesn’t seem likely. There's a lot of red tape and several channels to gain approval for leniency, even if you are known as a non-violent offender without gang record or drug trafficking past.
Mass incarcerations are sure to rise again and private prisons will be in high demand. Sessions has written and voiced to prosecutors they will be given leeway to “have discretion” at times where “sentences would result in an injustice”, but in the same breath stated the future needs of the prison system need to be met (with more prisoners).
Udi Ofer, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Campaign for Smart Justice maintains that “The American people have said with a clear voice that they want common-sense reforms to sentencing policy.” He also mentions we are falling back to Draconian like times and that he is disgusted by the thought of it, after all the progress we made in the last 20 years, socially and consciously.
In the wake of all of this, we should ask ourselves one question. Are we really “Un-cuffed from Washington?”