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Law Enforcement Officials Call For 'Smarter, Stronger, Fairer' Criminal Justice System06:09

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More than 130 police chiefs, sheriffs and attorneys across the country gathered Thursday to push for criminal justice reform.

The group, Law Enforcement Leaders to Reduce Crime and Incarceration, met with President Obama to call for alternatives to arrest and an end to mandatory minimums on prison sentences. They cite the fact that if the U.S. prison population were a state, it would be the 36th largest in the country, bigger than Delaware, Vermont and Wyoming, combined.

In their Statement of Principles, the group writes, "incarceration turns people's lives upside down, hurts the communities they belong to and costs taxpayers an astonishing $80 billion per year — all while doing little to reduce crime."

Guest

Donald Stern, former U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts.

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WBUR: Local Sheriff Part Of Group Pushing For National Prison Reform

  • "Two former Boston Police commissioners have joined a drive to reduce the number of people in prison nationwide. William Bratton is the current New York Police commissioner and Kathleen O’Toole is now chief of the Seattle Police Department."

The New York Times: Police Leaders Join Call to Cut Prison Rosters

  • "Asserting that 'too many people are behind bars that don’t belong there,' the officials plan to announce on Wednesday that they have formed a group to push for alternatives to arrests, reducing the number of criminal laws and ending mandatory minimum prison sentences. Members of the group are scheduled to meet Thursday with President Obama."

The Boston Globe: State’s Top Judge Seeks Programs To Ease Inmates’ Release

  • "For the second time since he was named chief justice in July 2014, Gants used the annual address to issue a call for sentencing reform. In a wide-ranging speech, he proposed increasing the amount of good time inmates can earn in prison and promoted so-called step-down programs that help inmates adjust to life in society before their release."

This story aired on October 22, 2015.

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