Skip Navigation

Could the Sequester Bring Sanity to the Criminal Justice System?

The impending sequester gives the DOJ an opportunity to rethink outdated criminal justice policies that don’t work.

February 26, 2013

New York, NY – As the nation prepares itself for the across the board budget cuts, Drug Policy Alliance Executive Director Ethan Nadelmann and Brennan Center Justice Program Director Inimai Chettiar point out today in The Hill that the sequester gives the Department of Justice an opportunity to rethink outdated criminal justice policies that simply don’t work and waste money.

“The Justice Department has some discretion in the sequester, particularly over how specific departments within agencies execute the cuts,” write Chettiar and Nadelmann. By prioritizing evidence-based programs and policies that protect public safety, the Justice Department can make responsible cuts that “increase both the fiscal health and effectiveness of the eternally cash-strapped agency."

For more details on how the Justice Department can implement smart cuts, read Chettiar’s and Nadelmann’s piece in The Hill, as well as the Brennan Center’s letter to the Justice Department and White House’s Office of Management and Budget. Read more from Chettiar on realigning federal funding incentives and from Nadelmann on drug policy reform.

For more information, or to set up an interview, please contact Seth Hoy at or 646–292–8369.