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Sessions Abandons Smart on Crime Initiative

Press Release – Statement by Casey Harden, Interim CEO of YWCA USA

“The directive issued today by Attorney General Sessions abandoning the Smart on Crime Initiative is yet another step backward for justice and community safety. For too many years, tough on crime policies, the imposition of mandatory minimum sentences, and decisions by prosecutors to charge low-level, non-violent drug offenders with crimes that carry the highest possible sentence contributed to the mass incarceration of people of color that plagues our nation. A clear consensus exists that locking up non-violent offenders undermines public safety, while at the same time negatively impacting families and communities—all at a high cost to taxpayers. While much of the public focus has been on men of color, women of color also experience the devastating impact of these ineffective policies.

“Today’s decision will not make our communities safer. Attorney General Sessions is making a mistake and communities of color will pay the highest price.”

About YWCA USA

YWCA USA is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. We are one of the oldest and largest women’s organizations in the nation, serving over 2 million women, girls, and their families each year. Learn more: www.ywca.org.

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