The president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA) National, Jon Adler, has released the following statement in response to the Senate's introduction of the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015:
“On behalf of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, I respect the bipartisan effort and the compromises reached in this bill but I remain concerned that the bill underestimates the impact of drugs and violence on victims by playing with the definition of what is considered a 'serious' offense. However, we do recognize the need to compromise on issues, and we respect both parties for working toward a sensible solution to the underlying problems. While this bill does not embrace the entire position put forth by FLEOA, it is a far more reasonable option than the fatally flawed SAFE Justice Act in the House.
Concerning the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015, we appreciate efforts to ensure violent offenders remain incarcerated for an appropriate period. We do not oppose provisions that call for constructive prison programs that may lead to a sentence reduction for certain prisoners with non-violent pasts. However, we do not consider any drug dealer as non-violent because of the poison that they peddle indiscriminately to others. Because the poison that they deal kills people every day, all drug dealers are committing 'serious' crimes whether they are armed, physically violent or not.
Decreasing mandatory minimum sentences for drug dealers is an incentive for them to continue their peddling of death, given the potential earnings. Minimum wage jobs will not successfully lure away released drug dealers from their trade if they know they are facing lower mandatory minimum sentences. In addition, FLEOA maintains that the prison population problem is not the result of fictitious low-level, non-violent drug offenders. FBI Director James Comey stated before the House Judiciary Committee that, under his watch, no low-level drug offender has ever been arrested or prosecuted in the federal system. We support Director Comey's conclusion.
The federal criminal justice system works best when incentives for cooperation are used on the front end, to assist in the dismantling of drug trafficking organizations. We should continue to trust the judgment of our prosecutors. Congress should evaluate other options to an escalating prison population, such as the cost of remote monitoring and home confinement for non-violent offenders, and work-release programs. White collar offenders should be scrubbing toilets in homeless shelters instead of playing ping pong in country club facilities on the taxpayer's expense.
FLEOA commends Senators Sessions and Cornyn for their unwavering support and leadership on this issue during its consideration before the Judiciary Committee.”
The Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (www.fleoa.org) is the largest nonprofit, nonpartisan professional association that exclusively represents more than 28,000 active and retired federal law enforcement officers from over 65 Agencies.