When I began my career in the Pennsylvania Legislature in 1976, America's drug culture, and public awareness of drug abuse, had been on the rise for two decades. By the 1980s, America's largest urban areas were experiencing a narcotics epidemic, particularly relating to the widespread use of crack cocaine and heroin. Faced with the challenge of controlling this problem, legislators could see only one logical course of action: raise penalties to repress the increasing crime. Longer—and more mandatory—sentences passed state legislatures by wide margins, and everyone confidently waited for a corresponding reduction in drug crime.
Prison Reform in the Pennsylvania Legislature
- Stewart Greenleaf
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- Senator Greenleaf has been a member of the Pennsylvania Senate since 1979. He previously served in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, as an Upper Mo‐ reland Township Commissioner, and as an Assistant District Attorney. He is Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and serves on the committees on Appropriations; Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure; and Banking and Insurance.