The United States Sentencing Commission annually accepts public comments concerning its proposed priorities for the upcoming amendment year. Many organizations, such as the Commission’s Practitioners’ Advisory Group, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Federal Public and Community Defenders and Families Against Mandatory Minimums, regularly submit comments. So too does the Department of Justice (DOJ). From the DOJ’s most recent submission comes this:
The question our country faces today is how can we continue to build on our success in combating crime and ensuring the fair and effective administration of justice in a time of limited criminal justice resources at all levels of government? In other words, how will the country ensure sufficient investments in public safety, and how will those involved in crime policy ensure that every dollar invested in public safety is spent in the most productive way possible?
With declining public safety budgets, our ability to increase the productivity of public safety spending of all kinds will largely determine whether we build on the reductions in crime we’ve experienced over the last twenty years or whether we see setbacks. Our federal, state, and local governments are making decisions now that could have significant effects on the nation’s justice system for years to come.