Write an Op-Ed


Attorney General William P. Barr has supported an expansion of mandatory minimum sentences for drug crimes involving fentanyl analogues that some have dubbed “The “New War on Drugs.”


Should the US government expand minimum sentencing penalties on fentanyl analogues? Would it actually help reduce illicit drug use? What inadvertent effects might it have on marginalized communities?


  • Respond to this month’s prompt
  • Writer must be a paid member of PfCJR
  • Remain under 750 words
  • Share your perspective on the topic
  • Due by March 15, 2020

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NANCY GERTNER: William Barr’s New War on Drugs

The Washington Post: Attorney General William P. Barr’s support for an expansion of mandatory minimum sentences for federal drug crimes involving fentanyl analogues should come as no surprise given his long record of hawking incarceration as a solution to our drug crisis. We have seen this movie before; it does not end well.


SADIE GURMAN: Will William Barr Revive the 1990s Tough-on-Crime Approach?

The Wall Street Journal: William Barr’s vision of law and order was forged at the height of the 1990s crack epidemic, when the DC consensus was that long mandatory sentencing was the best way to fight crime. Since then, bipartisan support has shifted toward more lenient punishments and alternatives. Mr. Barr is signaling that the views defining his first stint in the role may be changing.


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