Lawmakers are discussing and getting input on reinstating mandatory minimum sentences for certain crimes in Pennsylvania.
Starting at 9:30 Monday morning and going into the afternoon, lawmakers heard from people passionate about reinstating the minimum sentences and from people passionate about making sure those minimums are never set.
District Attorney Craig Stedman says mandatory minimums keep people safe.
“A couple years ago we had a ten year minimum for someone who raped a child, we don’t have that anymore so the real world effect is people are getting about half of that which means they're going to get out earlier and hurt another child,” said Stedman.Stedman says it’s important for the community and important for victims.
He told CBS 21, “They want to know there's going to be accountability, that there's going to be some justice.”
Devin Reaves, who’s in recovery from addiction and runs a treatment center, says mandatory minimums will do more harm than good.“I think a lot of mandatory minimums criminalize substance use.
We heard some testimony that as many as 2/3 of people in jail as drug dealers actually have a substance use disorder and I think there's better ways to deal with that,” said Reaves.Beyond that Reaves is worried mandatory minimums will ruin someone’s entire life who he believes could have been rehabilitated.