NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) - In May, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, under the instructions of President Trump, re-declared the war on drugs. The administration reinstated mandatory minimum sentencing, which means everyone involved in federal drug offenses are charged with the most serious crimes possible.
That rolled back the Smart on Crime initiative put in place by the Obama Administration. That memorandum encouraged prosecutors to avoid mandatory minimums for low-level and nonviolent drug offenders.
This change comes at a time when the drug crisis is pushing up death rates for all groups of Americans, according to a Washington Post analysis.
Some feel the mandatory minimum approach can be unfair. Defense attorney Stuart Slotnick said it may affect some low-level people in drug organizations that need help instead of prison.
Sessions said a crackdown on drugs will help combat the growing crime rate as well. He said the murder rate surged 10 percent nationwide from 2014 to 2015. The administration is making clear that no matter your role in the crime, you'll be held responsible.
However, according to a Pew Research report, violent crime in the U.S. has fallen sharply over the past 25 years.
Slotnick said that one size does not fit all because many people involved in drugs need treatment.