This vicious cycle – of poverty, criminality, and incarceration – traps too many Americans and weakens too many communities. And many aspects of our criminal justice system may actually exacerbate these problems, rather than alleviate them. This is why the Justice Department is also placing a renewed emphasis on the use of what we refer to as diversion programs – such as drug courts, treatment programs for those who have committed low-level drug crimes, and dual-track programs that differentiate between those with a low risk of recidivism and those with more serious criminal histories. By examining cases individually, identifying effective alternatives to incarceration under certain circumstances, and providing the resources necessary for those currently in the criminal justice system – and those who are released from prison – to become productive, law-abiding members of society, we can break this cycle. And we can improve public safety, forge safer neighborhoods, begin to address the root causes of criminality – and make smarter decisions on how to prevent it.
Eric Holder, Procurador-Geral dos EUA