States across the country are revisiting three-strikes laws and other tough mandatory minimum sentencing laws, particularly for low-level drug crimes. Of the 24 states that passed three-strikes laws in the early 1990s, at least 16 have since modified them to give judges more discretion in sentencing or narrow the types of crimes that count as a “strike,” according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).
At least 14 states in recent years also either eliminated
mandatory minimum sentencing for low-level drug offenders, or gave
judges more discretion to consider alternatives to incarceration,
according to the NCSL.