Washington, DC, May 12, 2017In a backward move and a major turnabout from the policies of Obama Administration Attorneys General Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch, Trump Attorney General Jeff Sessions has directed federal prosecutors to pursue the harshest criminal penalties for those who have been charged with drug crimes. The move is being described by the National LGBTQ Task Force as a "futile and wasteful re-cycling of policy failures of the past."
"If you don't learn from mistakes you make you end up repeating them. In rekindling the so-called 'war on drugs' which was a total failure and deeply damaging, Sessions shows that he and his boss haven't learned the lessons of history. This is a futile and wasteful recycling of the policy failures of the past. We learned from the first 'war on drugs' the harmful effects these policies had on black and brown communities and for those living in areas with high poverty rates. The truth is when Trump says, 'tough on crime' it's coded language for policies driven by a racist, xenophobic, cruel, and profit-driven agenda that will be 'tough' on marginalized communities and people. When Sessions says, 'war on drugs' he means 'war on people'. As researchers and policy experts point out, policies like this do not lower crime rates. To the contrary, they devastate communities, increase the number of people who are locked away from their families; place vulnerable children and other dependents in jeopardy; and pad the pockets of investors of the private prison industry. We urge the public to contact the Justice Department and tell Sessions stop this war on people," said Stacey Long Simmons, Director of the Department of Advocacy and Action.
The National LGBTQ Task Force is a leader among LGBTQ advocates for criminal justice reform. The organization focuses on holding law enforcement entities accountable; improving conditions for LGBTQ people who are incarcerated; and working to increase services and supports for people who are returning to their communities after incarceration.
The National LGBTQ Task Force works to secure full freedom, justice, and equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer ( LGBTQ ) people. For over forty years, the organization has been at the forefront of the social justice movement by training thousands of organizers and advocating for change at the federal, state, and local level. www.thetaskforce.org