Highlighted conclusions of a 2002 survey, conducted for the Justice department, on the deterrent value of mandatory minimum sentencing.
The evidence was mixed with regard to the impact of more generalized MMS of the “Three Strikes” variety.
Enhanced sentences for firearms infractions show some promise, although findings here, too, are inconsistent or unclear.
While the evidence overall underscores the critical role played by vigorous law enforcement and the certainty of punishment in this area [impaired driving], studies provide little reason for optimism with regard to the efficacy of tough sanctions.
Severe MMS seem to be least effective in relation to drug offences.
Drug consumption and drug-related crime seem to be unaffected, in any measurable way, by severe MMS.
MMS calling for lengthy prison terms are likely to carry massive costs.
MMS, such as the Three Strikes and federal drug laws in the US, have produced some grossly disproportionate sentences.